UNITED NATIONS – The selection of the U.N. secretary-general has been largely secretive for 70 years. A vote in the General Assembly next week could begin to change that.
A draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press and finalized late Wednesday, outlines how the U.N. should begin making the process more transparent and structured. If approved, the world body's 193 member states would see basic information about all candidates for the U.N. chief, including their resumes.
Until now, the 15-member Security Council has essentially picked the U.N. chief in a closed meeting and handed the name to the General Assembly for its approval. The five permanent Security Council members, including the United States, have the strongest sway.
If the draft is approved, the presidents of the assembly and the Security Council would "jointly circulate to all member states on an ongoing basis the names of individuals that have been submitted for consideration as candidates for the position of the secretary-general with accompanying documents, including curricula vitae."
Also for the first time, the General Assembly would have the chance to meet and question candidates. Member states would "conduct informal dialogues or meetings with candidates for the position of the secretary-general ... thus contributing to transparency and inclusivity of the process," the draft says.
The draft, finalized by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly, is expected to be voted on Sept. 11.
Ban Ki-moon's term is up at the end of 2016. More than 40 countries have expressed interest in selecting the first female secretary-general.
The draft encourages nations to consider presenting women as candidates.
So far, one permanent Security Council member, Britain, has expressed support for a woman to replace Ban. On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose country holds the council presidency this month, told reporters that "we support an Eastern European woman for secretary-general." Russia belongs to that U.N. regional group, which has never had a secretary-general.