A transparent election to find the best UN leader

12/04/2016
Press release
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April 12, 2016, the first public hearings of candidates for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations will hold. For the first time in UN history, candidates will defend their applications before the United Nations General Assembly, and their presentations will be broadcast live and online.

FIDH joined two coalitions of civil society mobilized around the election of the most important position of the United Nations, whose immense task will be to respond to the largest and most complex problems that we and the world are faced with. Seven billion people worldwide are affected by the decisions he or she takes. However, the Secretary General is chosen in secret by only five countries in a process that until now remained opaque and obsolete.

For a transparent and inclusive election, promoting gender equality and diversity

FIDH is a member of the 1 for 7 Billion Campaign, which requires that the selection of the Secretary-General be
- Focused on producing the best possible candidate
- Held in a timely and structured manner
- Based on formal selection criteria and qualifications
- Designed to promote gender parity and grounded in best practice on equality and diversity, including encouraging candidates from all regions
- Transparent to the wider UN membership
- Transparent to civil society, the general public and media
- Inclusive for all members of the General Assembly and open to appropriate input from civil society
The first public hearing of the candidates in this regard represents a victory and a decisive turning point. To learn more about the campaign click here.

Make human rights a priority

The new Secretary-General of the United Nations will inherit a large range of challenges to human rights. It is extremely important that he or she places human rights at the heart of the agenda of the United Nations.

FIDH and Amnesty International, CIVICUS, the World Centre for the Responsibility to protect, Human Rights Watch, and the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy have called for eight key human rights priorities that we would like the candidates for the new Secretary-General to publicly embrace during the selection process:
- Strengthen the impact of the United Nations on human rights
- Champion the rights of marginalized people
- Seek to prevent and end mass atrocity crimes
- Combat impunity
- Defend civil society
- Ensure gender equality
- Deliver a new deal for refugees and migrants
- End the death penalty
To read about each of these priorities in more detail,click here.

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