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Eesti alalalise esindaja ÜRO juures, Margus Kolga sõnavõtt Julgeolekunõukogu töömeetodite survegrupi nimel Peaassamblee taaselavdmise arutelul

27.04.2015

Co-Facilitators,

Thank you very much for convening this General Assembly Revitalization meeting on the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Estonia is a member of a cross-regional Accountability, Coherence and Transparency, or in short ACT, group comprising of 27 States – namely Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania and Uruguay. We are honored to speak on behalf of the group on this important – and most pertinent – topic at the eve of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

Non-ACT members Albania, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine have also aligned themselves with this statement.

We believe that just like every society or process benefits from transparency and openness, so does the international system and multilateral organizations. Transparent and inclusive decision making and actions have much bigger potential for the best possible outcome than a concealed process with exclusive participation. We think that in the UN system, there are number of processes that need to be scrutinized in order to make them more open.

Based on that notion, ACT would like to engage actively on increased transparency, inclusiveness and a more rigorous process in selecting the next chief of the organization to represent all of us.

 

We acknowledge the relevant Charter provisions and relevant General Assembly resolutions on the appointment process. The principle, according to which the candidatures for the post of Secretary-General of the UN are first discussed within the Security Council and then recommended to General Assembly, could in our view remain unchanged.  

 

This being said, the Charter leaves much room for improvement in the transparency and inclusivity of the process. Also, the General Assembly and all member states might play a more active and meaningful role than just finalizing the appointment at the end of the process.

 

ACT proposes to start the process in an open and transparent manner. Therefore, we recommend a joint letter by the Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council inviting UN Member States to present nominations for the post of Secretary-General. The joint letter could also fix a deadline when the nominations need to be submitted.

 

At the conclusion of the nomination process, a joint General Assembly and Security Council document should be issued containing the names and nationalities of the candidates in alphabetical order with the CVs in annex. In order to ensure a more structured and foreseeable process this document should also contain a timeline indicating the necessary steps that lead up to the final appointment of the new Secretary-General.       

 

ACT believes that the General Assembly should play – in accordance with the UN Charter – a more active role in the selection process. We call for widening the scope of consultations beyond the members of the Security Council and for considering the views of all member states. In this regard, the wider membership could also benefit from open hearings i.e. as interactive dialogues organized by the President of the General Assembly to engage with nominees and have an input to the process.   

 

We would also value more transparency within the Security Council. Hearings and “Arria-formula” meetings could be therefore held in the Security Council with shortlisted candidates, so that all members – both permanent and elected – can make an informed decision on which candidate to support. Additionally, Security Council could hold public briefings to update the wider membership on the developments of the nomination process.

 

In ACT´s view, the selection process of the next Secretary-General should be finalized as early as possible, preferably three months prior to the assumption of the office by the next Secretary-General.

 

Last but not least, we believe that the identification and appointment of the best candidate for the post of the Secretary-General should be in line with the best practices in high-level appointments of executive heads of the United Nations and other international organizations.

 

As regards the gender balance, ACT strongly encourages Member States to nominate qualified female candidates and in the end of the selection process to give preference to equally qualified female candidates.

 

Due regard should as well be given to equal and fair geographical distribution through rotation.

 

Without proposing concrete changes to the length of the term of the Secretary-General, ACT sees merit in discussing this issue which is to be decided by the General Assembly.

 

ACT has prepared a non-paper on selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General which has been shared with all UN member states and is also available in the room today. I have touched upon the main elements of the document in my statement as well. We are happy to continue consultations on the non-paper with all the regional groups and interested member states.

 

Thank you very much, Co-Facilitators.

 

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