Kaljurand gave an overview of developments up to this point in making the section process of the UN Secretary-General more transparent. “The resolution revitalization adopted by the General Assembly on September 11 is a big step forward in making the selection procedure more straightforward. For the first time in 70 years, an agreement has been reached that the selection of the Secretary-General must have a clear beginning, information about the candidates must be shared with the Member States and public meetings are to be arranged with them,” the Foreign Minister said.
All of the high-level representatives who attended the event were of the same opinion, that just as every society wins through having an open and transparent process, international systems and organizations also win. “An open and participatory decision-making process has more potential to reach a positive and satisfying end,” Kaljurand stated.
The Foreign Minister also stressed that in filling high-level UN positions, all rules should be followed, gender balance taken into account and in the case of equal contenders, priority given to female candidates. “It is also important that the selection process take geographical balance into account,” she added.
In addition to Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand, others in the panel who spoke on the subject of the selection of the UN Secretary-General were the President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, as well as former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, the last two being representatives of the Elders.
Estonia, along with Costa Rica, Finland, and nearly thirty other countries, belongs to the UN Security Council working methods ACT (Accountability, Coherence, Transparency) Group. The initiative, launched by Switzerland, is to make the UN Security Council’s decision-making and operational mechanisms more reliable, transparent and effective. Since the beginning of this year, Estonia, as the member of ACT leading this issue, has been actively engaged in making the selection process of the UN Secretary-General more open and transparent. A new UN Secretary-General will be chosen next year.