Ahead of the third straw poll – an upcoming game of musical chairs – on August 29, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made public his preference for a woman to replace him as the head of the United Nations.
“It’s high time now” for a female Secretary-General after eight men at the helm of the world organization in over 70 years, said Ban whose second term comes to an end on December 31, 2016.
“We have many distinguished and eminent women leaders in national governments or other organizations or even business communities, political communities, and cultural and every aspect of our life,” he said in an Associated Press interview on August 11. “There’s no reason why not in the United Nations.”
It is the first time that an outgoing Secretary-General has made his preference public – just as it is the first time that the process of the election for the world’s highest post, whose incumbent is expected to be a “world’s moderator”, has become transparent, thanks due to the current UN General President Mogens Lykketoft.
The first round in musical chairs started on July 21 with 12 candidates vying for the job. Six of them were women. They included: UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria; Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and current Administrator of the UNDP; and Natalia Gherman, former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Moldova.
Others were: Susana Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina who has also served as UN Under-Secretary-General and Chef du Cabinet of the UN Secretariat; Vesna Pusic, former Foreign Minister of Croatia; and UNFCCC’s chief Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica.