Apr 13 Wed 6.30 pm New America A Conversation with the Candidates for the Next UN Secretary General

The moderator should probably have taken this panel a little more seriously although he won plaudits from some as “funny” on twitter. This election is running at the same time as the US election of the new occupant of the Oval Office and therefore completely outweighed in terms of media attention, yet what could be more important in terms of the potential role the UN may have to play in the future in solving some of the world’s greatest social and economic problems from avoiding war in the Middle East and Korea, to the mass migration of refugees into Europe, to global coastal drowning. But the lighthearted man from the Guardian Special Projects desk seemed rather too jocular in asking softball questions such as which was more important to have a female Secretary General or one from Eastern Europe? One did get the impression that all the candidates were immensely decent people despite or perhaps because of their lack of real power in prospect but not given to weighty thinking beyond the internal politics of the UN, but that could and should change.

Danilo Türk should be the next UN General – judging by his face, which betrays a sense of humor

A Conversation with the Candidates for the Next UN Secretary General

A Conversation with the Candidates for the Next UN Secretary General


The post of United Nations Secretary-General is said to be the world’s most impossible job. But it is also one of the most important.
For the first time in UN history, candidates will openly compete in two hustings to be the next UN Secretary-General, publicly outlining their vision for the future of the UN.

From climate change to armed conflict, extremism to pandemics, many of the world’s most defining problems transcend borders and require global solutions. In an increasingly polarized world facing multiple threats, only the UN can step up to meet these complex challenges. A Secretary-General can save lives. We need the best possible person for the job: a highly-qualified and visionary leader, equipped to deal with crises the world over.

Join New America, in partnership with UNA-UK and The Guardian, on Wednesday, April 13, for the first of two historic debates with the candidates for the next Secretary-General.

Welcoming Remarks:

Suzanne DiMaggio @suzannedimaggio
Director and Senior Fellow, New America NYC

Natalie Samarasinghe @Natalie_UNA
Executive Director, United Nations Association – UK

Vesna Pusić @vpusic
Former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Croatia

Danilo Türk @_DaniloTurk
Former President, Republic of Slovenia

Natalia Gherman
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Moldova


Mark Rice-Oxley @markriceoxley69
Head of Special Projects, The Guardian

Closing Remarks:

Thomas G. Weiss
Co-director, Future United Nations Development System

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