UN begins looking for Ban Ki-Moon’s replacement

The UN on Tuesday sent out a letter to its 193 member states, asking for candidates to become the next secretary-general of the international body.

Currently the role is held by Ban Ki-Moon, who formerly was the foreign minister of South Korea, and whose term is to end in late 2016 following two terms of five years apiece. The role is generally rotated by region, with Eastern Europe slated to be next, reports Reuters.

Usually the UN Security Council recommends a candidate to the General Assembly for election, but in an attempt at transparency, a letter was sent by the Security Council president, US Ambassador Samantha Power, and the General Assembly president, Danish Ambassador Mogens Lykketoft.

The letter to the UN member states called for candidates to be submitted for consideration.

“Convinced of the need to guarantee equal opportunities for women and men in gaining access to senior decision-making positions, Member States are encouraged to consider presenting women, as well as men, as candidates,” they wrote. The role has been held by men for 70 years.

British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft also helped write the letter, saying, “this fires the starting gun for the race to be the next secretary-general.”

A list of candidates is expected to be finalized by March according to officials, and the selection process at the Security Council is scheduled for July.

Two candidates who have been proposed were already named by Lykketoft – former UN General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia, and Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic.

“We invite candidates to be presented with proven leadership and managerial abilities, extensive experience in international relations and strong diplomatic, communication and multilingual skills,” read the letter.

The UN has long been accused of bias against Israel, singling out the Jewish state with an unprecedented focus of condemnation in various resolutions, such as the later revoked infamous resolution in 1975 that claimed “Zionism is racism.”

Just this Tuesday a UN spokesperson condemned Israel for using “excessive force” in defending itself from Arab terrorists, calling for it to investigate its security forces for shooting dead attackers in the act of trying to murder Israeli citizens.