Remarks by Ms Minna-Liina Lind Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia at the informal meeting of the General Assembly on the facilitation process and elements for the resolution appointing the Secretary-General, 29 August 2016
If you allow me, Mr Co-Chair, to add a few remarks now in my national capacity.
As we have had a historic SG selection process so far and have now entered the most decisive phase, Estonia would like to see it successfully concluded. As it is the prerogative of the General Assembly to draft the final resolution for the appointment, we would like to – without delay – discuss all possible elements to be included in it and are glad that today´s meeting has been called for. We hope that shortly we can discuss various elements put forward for consideration.
For Estonia, the aim – besides creating a more inclusive process in line with present day expectations and wider ownership – has been to strengthen the institution of the Secretary-General by making it more representative. Throughout the current selection process – while successfully implementing the General Assembly resolution 69/321 – we have seen closely the importance of effective and substantiated communication between the Security Council and the wider membership. We regret to see that the overall change of the process has not brought with it a further updated approach by the Security Council and the General Assembly has not been kept informed of the results of the straw polls.
Turning now more concretely to the appointment resolution, where in our view key elements could include relevant Charter provisions and General Assembly´s expectations of the next Secretary-General.
We would also like to see the General Assembly taking an informed decision in the appointment resolution to determine the length and renewability of the term in office of the SG. There are definitely many valid arguments pro and contra appointing the Secretary-General for a single non-renewable term. Estonia – after having weighed both sides of the arguments thoroughly – believes that the Secretary-General should serve for a single non-renewable term in order to enhance the independence of the office holder.
Furthermore, we would like to emphasize in the resolution the importance of exercising independence by the SG in selecting senior officials and on no monopoly to senior posts by any state or group of states.
Additional elements in the appointment resolution could deal with questions related to gender and regional representation. The General Assembly could, for example, express its expectation of having gender balance between the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary General so that they both would not be female or male. The General Assembly could also add a provision in the resolution on equitable regional representation of having the incoming and incumbent Secretary-Generals from different regional groups.
For us it is important that there will be sufficient time for the GA to draft the appointment resolution and to be able to adopt it by consensus.
Estonia would like to hear views of others on possible elements and engage actively in this process.