Lithuanian president will not run for UN Secretary General

Dalia Grybauskaitė
AFP/Scanpix

A spokeswoman for the president’s office confirmed that Grybauskaitė is not planning to run for the UN post.

The second term of Ban Ki-moon, the current Secretary General, expires on December 31, 2016. Because of the informal regional rotation scheme, many commentators speculate that the next UN secretary general will come from the Eastern European Group which has never held the post.

Grybauskaitė has been named as a possible candidate by SG Woman, the campaign to elect a woman UN secretary general, as well as by 1for7billion, a campaign for more open and transparent selection process for the UN secretary general post.

However, the Lithuanian president’s spokeswoman Daiva Ulbinaitė was quoted by BNS on Tuesday saying that Grybauskaitė was not planning to run for the post.

Other potential candidates for UN secretary general include former President of Slovenia Danilo Türk, Bulgarian director general of UNESCO Irina Bokova, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić, and former UN General Assembly president Srgjan Kerim from Macedonia. They all have been endorsed by their national governments.

The UN secretary general is appointed by the General Assembly, which includes all 193 members of the United Nations, upon the recommendations of the UN Security Council.

The selection process has attracted criticism for opacity where the candidate is decided largely by behind-the-scenes decisions of the five permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly has never rejected a candidate proposed by the Security Council.

The Security Council and General Assembly have taken steps to address the criticism and have sent a letter to member states asking them to nominate candidates for the position.

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