‘High Time’ UN Gets a Female Chief, Says Sec Gen Ban Ki-Moon

The Secretary General roots for a female successor in the UN. 

2 min read
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United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said it’s “high time” a woman occupied one of the most important global leadership positions. As he’s nearing the end of his second 5-year term, he brought to light the fact that the UN has had eight men as Secretary General since it was established more than 70 years ago, and never a woman.

He emphasised that this is his personal opinion and the decision is not up to him. For the election, the Security Council must recommend a candidate to the General Assembly for its approval.

Currently, there are 11 candidates up for selection, of which five are women.

We have many distinguished and eminent women leaders in national governments or other organisations or even business communities, political communities, and cultural and every aspect of our life. There’s no reason why not in the United Nations.
Ban Ki-Moon told Associated Press

He further mentioned that his successor should have “strong, compassionate and visionary leadership” and be able to articulate the importance of human dignity for vulnerable groups including women, girls, disabled, homosexuals and other minorities.

In informal polls, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, who heads the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Argentina’s Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra, who was Ban’s former chief of staff, are the frontrunners amongst the women.

While Ban Ki-Moon is rooting for a female successor, Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, also a former UN refugee chief, seems to be the favourite, according to the polls.

A group of 56 nations are campaigning for the first female UN chief. The post of the Secretary General is traditionally rotated between different regions of the world. East European nations, including Russia, which have never had a Secretary General from their region, argue that it is their turn.

(With inputs from AP)

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