India pitches for an open, democratic election for UNSG

Ashok kumar Mukherje20150428103723_lAhead of the upcoming election of the UN secretary-general next year, India has called for an open and democratic process in the selection of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s successor, where all members of the United Nations have a greater say.

Underlining the need of bringing changes in the selection process, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ashok Kumar Mukerji said that instead of giving just one name for the selection, the Security Council should preset a slate of candidates, and the final decision should be made based on two-third of the cast votes.

“The United Nations faces its most serious tests both in terms of credibility and performance,” Mukerji said. He added that the election of Ban’s successor “gives us an historic opportunity to change and improve the existing selection process of the Secretary-General in the interests of the United Nations system in general and the Assembly’s prerogatives in particular.”

This process was recommended as “desirable” in 1946 General Assembly resolution, but hadn’t been implemented yet. He added that a new amendment should be made in the policy to bring the new proposal.

In the current election-process, conducted so far, the permanent members of the United Nation Security Council has powers to veto, which agrees on just one candidate, and leave it for the assembly to decide. But in practical term, the other UN members don’t have a real choice of voting or picking out a candidate.

He also stressed on the need of a transparent write out of the candidate’s qualifications, which should include commitment to the purposes and principles of the Character, extensive leadership, administrative and diplomatic experience, along with regional rotation and gender equality.

Speaking about the selection process, he said, “We feel that candidates must be required to present their views to all member-states of the General Assembly and adequate time should be allowed for formal presentations and interaction with member nations.”

India appealed to its concerned citizens around the world to support and join its campaign through social media and mass media. Apart from India, Canada has also been campaigning for over a decade for bringing out the reform in the assembly, and setting out core criteria for the candidates. However, now there seems to be a growing chorus of support within the other UN nations to implement the reforms, reflecting those pitched by India. Other nongovernmental organisations like Amnesty International, Forum Asia and Avaaz have also launched campaigns for the UN reforms.

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