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UNITED NATIONS – 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.