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UN top job candidates to pitch for the position in a historic move

UN top job candidates to pitch for the position in a historic move

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For the first time in the UN’s 70-year history, the candidates vying to become secretary-general will make their pitch for the job to world governments in hearings beginning next week.

Eight candidates are in the race to succeed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, whose term expires at the end of this year.

We have decided collectively to open up the race.

Three of the eight candidates are former presidents or prime ministers, and four are from countries that were once part of Yugoslavia, while two are current heads of UN agencies. Only one is from a non-European country.

The unprecedented hearings are part of a broader push for more transparency in the selection of who will succeed Ban Ki-moon come January 2017.

“We have decided collectively to open up the race,” said French Ambassador Francois Delattre of the new selection process.

The hearings “are important and new, and I do plan to attend to listen to each of the candidates,“  he added while speaking to the AFP.

Security Council members are facing calls to pick the first woman after eight men on the job, and to give preference to a candidate from Eastern Europe, the only region that has yet to be represented in the top post.

For decades, the selection of the UN chief has been the reserve of the five permanent Security Council members namely Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States, in a process kept mostly behind closed doors.

AFP