UN needs "more emphasis on how to do things better": Miroslav Lajčák

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General Assembly Seventieth Informal Dialogues with Candidates for the Position of Secretary-General: Miroslav Lajčák. UN Photo: Manuel Elias

The UN system needs "more emphasis on how to do things better" under its next Secretary-General.

That's the view of Miroslav Lajčák, who serves as the current Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and a candidate for the top UN job.

"Historic" public briefings to select the next UN chief began in mid-April, when nine candidates put forward their vision statements and took questions.

Matthew Wells has more.

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

On Tuesday, Mr Lajčák was the tenth candidate to appear overall, in dialogue sessions led by the President of the General Assembly.

He said that his long career in diplomacy, including overseeing the peaceful separation of Serbia and Montenegro following the Balkan wars of the 1990s, demonstrated his experience and commitment to the UN and its values.

Given the levels of insecurity the world faced today, he said the UN had all the tools it needed, but improvements could be made.

"Maybe the system is not adequately set to deal with today's challenges the way it is expected from us. My goal, therefore, would be to put more emphasis on how to do things better, how to use the existing instruments and processes more efficiently, how to adjust the system to get more out of it, for the sake of peace and for the benefit of humankind."

Mr Lajčák said four key areas needed rethinking, "first and foremost" conflict prevention and mediation.

People not only needed to survive, but also thrive he added, and the UN needed to bolster its role as defender of human rights and international law.

Finally, he added that the new UN chief, who starts next January, should ensure the Secretariat met the standards of efficiency and competence the international community required.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’18″

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