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Home NATIONALFinland hails female candidatures for UN chief
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Thu, 22 Sep, 2016 12:00:03 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report, Sept 22

Finland on Wednesday welcomed a "more transparent and more inclusive" selection process to elect the next UN secretary-general, and also welcomed many female candidates running for the post of the world's top diplomat.

 The President, Sauli Niinistö made the remarks as he was taking the floor at the General Debate of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, the week-long annual high-level event which entered its second day here Wednesday.

"The next secretary-general will be a subject of almost colossal expectations," he said.

"Finland welcomes a selection process that is more transparent and more inclusive," he said. "We also welcome the fact that so many female candidates are seeking the position."

There are five female candidates who entered into the race, they were Irina Bokova, head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Argentina's Foreign Minister Susanna Malcorra, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who is currently head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), Christina Figuers, former executive secretary of the UN Climate Change convention in Paris, and Moldova's Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman.

There are only four on the list at this moment after Figuers decided to drop out of the race last week after a round of secret ballot of the UN Security Council.

The Security Council will have a new round of straw poll next Monday on the current candidates vying to be next UN secretary-general to succeed Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1.

This year, the 193-member UN General Assembly took a more active role in the selection process, aiming to make it more transparent and inclusive. For the first time in history, the candidates were asked to submit their resumes and to take part in informal briefings with the General Assembly.

It is the duty of the 15-member council to forward its recommendation for the next secretary-general to the General Assembly to vote on.

There are hopes in some quarters for a first-ever woman secretary-general as well as in others quarters for a UN chief from an Eastern Europe country. It is hoped a candidate can be chosen by November.

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