Europe

Candidates for job of world's top diplomat face questions

  • Former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim gestures as he address U.N. General Assembly members about his candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim gestures as he address U.N. General Assembly members about his candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim, left, is seated next to General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, right, while listening to questions from U.N. General Assembly members about his candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Former Macedonian Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim, left, is seated next to General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, right, while listening to questions from U.N. General Assembly members about his candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who heads the U.N. Development Program, speaks at a news conference after she addressed U.N. General Assembly members about her candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who heads the U.N. Development Program, speaks at a news conference after she addressed U.N. General Assembly members about her candidacy for U.N. Secretary General, Thursday April 14, 2016 at U.N. headquarters. 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. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

Nine candidates seeking to become the world's top diplomat answered a total of about 800 questions over the past three days from ambassadors and advocacy groups in the first move in the U.N.'s 70-year history to open up the usually secret selection of the next secretary-general.

General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, who presided over the question-and-answer sessions, said he was "very inspired" that in addition to almost all 193 U.N. member states taking part, 227,000 people from 209 countries and territories watched part of the webcast.

"It has already made a difference," he told reporters late Thursday. "We have established a new standard of transparency and inclusivity for the selection of the secretary-general."

The U.N. chief is chosen by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the 15-member Security Council.