1 for 7 Billion has launched two new documents showing where every UN Member State stands on two urgent proposals for reform: the appointment of the Secretary-General for a single, non-renewable term of between five and ten years, and the recommendation of multiple candidates by the Security Council to the General Assembly.
This week, the 1 for 7 Billion campaign sent a letter to all UN Member States urging them to consider specific reforms to further improve the selection process before the next Secretary-General is appointed at the end of the year. The letter comes ahead of a thematic debate on the selection and appointment of the UN Secretary-General, to take place at the UN’s New York headquarters on 22 March.
In September 2015, 1 for 7 Billion launched a public poll to generate discussion on the role of the UN Secretary-General. The poll asked questions about the issues the next Secretary-General should prioritise and the qualities she or he should possess to be an effective leader of the United Nations.
1 for 7 Billion has reached at a crucial stage in its work to find the best possible Secretary-General. Seven candidates have already come forward and many of our reforms are being implemented.
1 for 7 Billion has written to all official candidates for the position of UN Secretary-General, asking for their public commitment to serve only for a single term of office.
The 1 for 7 Billion campaign has published a statement setting out the arguments for the UN Secretary-General to stand for a single, non-renewable term of office. The paper has been released ahead of a General Assembly debate on this proposal on 29 February.
70 years ago today, Trygve Lie became the first UN Secretary-General. Following his recommendation by the Security Council, the General Assembly held a secret ballot, which saw Lie, a former Norwegian foreign minister, elected with 46 votes to 3 and two abstentions (the video below shows the voting).
Senior UN officials and prospective candidates for the position of Secretary-General have spoken out in favour of further reforms to the process by which the UN leader is selected.
1 for 7 Billion welcomes the ground-breaking joint letter to be sent by the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the appointment of the next UN Secretary-General in 2016. The letter marks – for the first time in the UN's history – the start of an official selection process for this crucial role.
United Nations Associations worldwide have pledged their support for a fairer, more inclusive process to select the next UN Secretary-General. The resolution, passed by consensus at a recent conference, followed intensive campaigning by 1 for 7 Billion representatives.
The 1 for 7 Billion campaign urges all members of the Security Council to agree to start the process of selecting the next UN Secretary-General immediately in a transparent and inclusive manner. The Presidents of the Council and the General Assembly should promptly write the joint letter that sets out the entire process and invites presentation of candidates ‘in a timely manner’.
Mark the UN’s 70th anniversary with an open and transparent process to select the next Secretary-General
The 70th anniversary of the United Nations on 24 October is a unique opportunity for all states to enhance the UN’s authority by acting in the spirit of its Charter to create an open, transparent and inclusive process to select the best woman or man as the next UN Secretary-General.
From 28 September to 3 October, the 70th session of the UN General Assembly held its general debate at UN headquarters in New York. In line with the theme of the debate—“The United Nations at 70: a New Commitment to Action”—states from all regions took the opportunity to express their support for critical and timely changes to the appointment process for the Secretary-General.
On Saturday 26 September, a host of countries, prominent individuals and civil society spoke up in favour not only of urgent action to implement landmark General Assembly Resolution 69/321, but also of striving for further improvements to the process to select the next UN Secretary-General.
During a press conference hosted by members of the ACT grouping: Estonia and Costa Rica, 1 for 7 Billion called on journalists to play a crucial role in opening up the process to select the next UN Secretary-General.
President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, makes clear his intention to drive forward proposals to improve the process to select the next UN Secretary-General.
1 for 7 Billion welcomes the landmark resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 11 September that provides an excellent basis for creating an open, transparent and merit-based process to select the UN Secretary-General.
The British Government has backed 1 for 7 Billion’s calls for a fairer, more inclusive process to select the next UN Secretary-General at a rare House of Lords debate on UN effectiveness.
New research by the 1 for 7 Billion campaign shows that just three countries could block proposals supported by the vast majority of UN member states to improve the secretive and undemocratic process to select the UN Secretary-General.
1 for 7 Billion welcomes Security Council discussion on Secretary-General selection and calls for further action
Participants in the debate recognised the need for transparency in the selection process, that the General Assembly had an interest and role to play in meeting candidates, and that this was the opening of further discussions.
There is no silver bullet for UN reform, but a better way to select the Secretary-General comes close. Originally published in UNA-UK's flagship publication, New World, this article explores how improving UN leadership could be a first step to a more effective United Nations.
On 2 July, the newly elected President of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft from Denmark, and his team met three members of the campaign’s Steering Committee.
Former High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, painted the current UN Secretary-General selection process - the prerogative of just five countries – as “weak, opaque and, perhaps, even irrational”.
Recognising the absence of women in the UN's list of leaders, Al Jazeera speaks to 1 for 7 Billion about overhauling the process by which the UN Secretary-General is selected.
During a media stakeout earlier this week, Mr Lykketoft noted the widespread interest among member states in improving the process to select the next UN Secretary-General.
Monday’s UN General Assembly debate saw a near universal demand for transforming the way in which the UN appoints its next Secretary-General.
With the help of its supporters, the 1 for 7 Billion campaign will create a social media storm on the morning of the 27 April debate to urge states to call for an end to the secretive, outdated appointment process that falls far short of basic recruitment standards.
Last week's debate in the UN General Assembly shows that securing a better way to select the Secretary-General is a top concern for member states. Nearly all delegates called for a more open and inclusive process to replace the outdated and secretive procedure that currently blights the appointment of the UN's chief.
In an opinion piece in the New York Times Kofi Annan and Gro Harlem Brundtland urge an immediate overhaul of the process to select the Secretary-General, echoing specific measures promoted in the 1 for 7 Billion campaign.
The controversy surrounding the choice of a successor to Valerie Amos reinforces the principles of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, which hold that merit, not nationality, should be the deciding factor when appointing senior UN officials.
In his World Politics Review column, Richard Gowan argues that the next UN Secretary-General must choose between restoring the UN’s independence in pursuit of a bold internationalist agenda, or adopting a more cautious approach with the associated risks of 'political pulverization' in today's challenging geo-political landscape. He also finds that the 1 for 7 Billion campaign has caused "a frisson of excitement at U.N.headquarters".
In a detailed article for Foreign Policy, Colum Lynch laments the "utter lack of democratic process" in the elections for the world's "premier diplomatic job" and reviewsthe background of potential candidates from across the world. The article also describes the obstacles to opening up the selection process.
The article highlights the launch of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign and quotes senior UN experts, including Sir Brian Urquhart and Edward Mortimer, on the major shortfalls of the current outdated selection process. The article also covers the campaign's open letter to world leaders calling for improvements to the appointment process, which was endorsed by a number of leading NGOs.
In an article recently published in the Indian press, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations argues for a more inclusive and transparent procedure to appoint the UN Secretary-General, emphasising that the current process must change in order to support the wider interests of the UN.
Leading U.S. newspaper The New York Times published a comprehensive article covering the launch of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign. The article makes a strong case for reform of the outdated system to appoint the UN's leader and draws attention to the letter that 1 for 7 Billion campaign partners have sent to world leaders demanding action.
1 for 7 Billion's NGO partners from across the world have written to all UN Member States to call for an open, fair and inclusive process to select the best possible candidate for Secretary-General of the UN.
Writing for Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, Michèle Auga and Volker Lehmann make the case that Germany would benefit more from a democratically-elected Secretary-General more than a seat on the Security Council.