United Nations: An Indian-origin employee at the United Nations has announced her candidacy to be the next Secretary-General, the first person to throw her hat in the ring against incumbent Antonio Guterres, who is seeking a second five-year term beginning in January 2022 as chief of the world body.
Arora Akanksha (34), who is working as an audit coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said she will run for the post of the world’s top diplomat and launched her campaign #AroraForSG this month.
“People in my position aren’t supposed to stand up to the ones in charge. We are supposed to wait our turn, hop on the hamster wheel, go to work, keep our heads down and accept that the world is the way it is,” Ms Akanksha said in a two-and-a-half-minute campaign video posted online.
The video shows Akanksha walking inside the sprawling UN headquarters, as her voiceover says that people who have come before her have “failed to hold the UN accountable”. “For 75 years, the UN has not fulfilled its promise to the world — refugees haven’t been protected, humanitarian aid has been minimal, and technology and innovation has been on the back-burner. We deserve a UN that leads progress. That is why I am running for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I refuse to be a bystander. I will not accept this is the best the UN can do,” she was heard saying in the video.
Last month Antonio Guterres, 71, had confirmed that he will seek a second five-year term as chief of the organisation. Guterres’s first term ends on December 31 this year and the term of the next Secretary-General will begin on January 1, 2022. Guterres assumed office on January 1, 2017, after a reformed selection process that included a public informal dialogue session in the UN General Assembly. Antonio Guterres is the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations and no woman has held the position of the world’s top diplomat in the 75-year history of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, making the Secretary-General’s selection subject to the veto of any of the five permanent members of the Council. Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General, responding to a question at the daily briefing on the UNDP staffer announcing her candidacy for Secretary-General, said “Antonio Guterres is a candidate for the selection process. It’s not for him to comment on other people who may want to come forward.” “This is a process run by the Member States. So, I’m not aware of any issues or problems with that. I speak for the incumbent candidate, but we have no comment on anyone else who may wish to put their hat in the proverbial ring,” Dujarric said.
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