Europe

UN takes historic step to open selection of new UN chief

  • U.N. Secretary General candidates Irina Bokova, left, Director-General of UNESCO, and former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, listen to proceedings in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    U.N. Secretary General candidates Irina Bokova, left, Director-General of UNESCO, and former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, listen to proceedings in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary General candidate Igor Luksic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro, responds to questions in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    U.N. Secretary General candidate Igor Luksic, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Montenegro, responds to questions in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary General candidate, former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, listens to proceedings in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

    U.N. Secretary General candidate, former Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, listens to proceedings in the United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. For the first time in the 70-year history of the United Nations, all the member states will get a chance to question the candidates for Secretary-General, in a move to make the usually secret selection process for the world's top diplomatic post more transparent. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations is taking a historic step to open up the usually secret process of selecting the next secretary-general, giving all countries the chance to question candidates on issues such as how they would resist pressure from powerful countries, tackle sex abuse by U.N. peacekeepers, and improve efforts to achieve peace.

Montenegro's Foreign Minister Igor Luksic was the first of eight candidates to face members of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

The secretary-general is chosen by the 193-member assembly on the recommendation of the 15-member Security Council. This has meant the council's five permanent members have veto power over the candidates — and that would not change with Ban Ki-moon's successor.

But for the first time, nations have an opportunity to probe views of the candidates.