New chief will need "devotion, passion and sacrifice": candidate Srgjan Kerim

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General Assembly Seventieth session Informal Dialogues with Candidates for the Position of Secretary-General: Srgjan Kerim. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The next Secretary-General of the United Nations will need "devotion, passion and sacrifice" along with experience and expertise.

That's the view of Srgjan Kerim, from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), who was the final candidate for the UN's top job to appear at Informal Dialogues, on Thursday.

The briefings led by the President of the General Assembly, saw candidates state their case and take questions from Member States and civil society groups over the course of three days this week.

Matthew Wells reports.

The unprecedentedly open and transparent process has been described as a job interview in front of the whole world.

Thursday was the last day of dialogues, bringing the final three candidates out of nine so far declared, to the microphone, to explain why they are best suited to become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Mr Kerim described his more than 30-year career as a diplomat, business executive; politician and university professor, as good preparation for the demanding role of UN chief.

"The basic assumption according to my experience for success in any undertaking is to believe in it. I believe in the United Nations because it is a product of visionary statesmen and their collective wisdom. To serve the cause of global peace and security is not a routine exercise, it is about experience, expertise, devotion, passion and sacrifice."

He praised the sacrifice of the high-profile and low-profile UN staff who have given their lives in service down the years, and laid out the key parts of his agenda, were he to become the new Secretary-General in 2017.

Management reform, sustainable development and climate change were at the top of his list, he said.

In all, nine candidates; 4 women and 5 men took two hours each, over three days, to lay out why they should be elected UN chief.  

Mr Kerim, Vuk Jeremić, and Helen Clark were the final three to appear at the dialogues.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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