UN staff invited to witness historic televised debate with SG candidates on 12 July

townhallevent 12 July

The President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft is inviting all UN Staff and colleagues to witness the first-ever televised live debate in the GA Hall with candidates for the position of Secretary-General.

Entitled: “Leading the United Nations: A Global Townhall with UN Secretary-General candidates” the event will be broadcast live from New York HQ by the Al Jazeera Media Network on Tuesday, 12 July 2016, from 6.00p.m – 9.00p.m EDT, and again afterwards, as two edited programmes.

“After months of trying to make the Secretary-General selection process more open and transparent, this event will likely be the final opportunity to hear from the candidates before the Security Council begins its considerations on 21 July,” said Mr Lykketoft.

The historic Townhall event seeks to enhance public interest in the work of the United Nations and its next Secretary-General, Mr Lykketoft said. It is distinct from the UN General Assembly mandated informal dialogues with candidates that have taken place over the past few months and that will continue to be held if further candidates are presented. The next proposed date for informal dialogues for additional candidates is 14 July.

For the first time ever, around 10 candidates for the UN’s top job, will be engaged in an open discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing the next Secretary-General.

Al Jazeera will broadcast, stream and report on this historic event across its global broadcast and digital platforms on Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera Mubashar, Al Jazeera Balkans and AJ+. The debate will be carried on all digital (including mobile) platforms of Al Jazeera English including being live streamed on YouTube.  Additionally, AJ+, Al Jazeera’s digital social video platform, will host the debate on Facebook Live. Al Jazeera will also offer the live feed to UN Television, UN Web TV and other media carriers throughout the world.

Staff visiting or based in New York are encouraged to attend in person. A UN pass gets you in but you are kindly asked to help the organisers in the Office of the President (OPGA) by registering at this link before Monday 11 July at Noon.

To avoid disappointment please arrive early and be in your seats on Tuesday well before 6.00p.m. when Al Jazeera correspondent Mike Hanna will engage invited guests and participants in setting the stage for the live segment of the event.

From 6.30pm, the live segment will begin. It will consist of two segments moderated by Al Jazeera’s James Bays and Folly Bah Thibault with five candidates in each. Each debate will run for about an hour. The event should be over by 9.00p.m.

Please note that there will be free seating at this event, although a block of seats near the front will be reserved for Member States and Observers.

As part of the ground-breaking changes introduced by the President of the General Assembly, the list of all official candidates for the position of Secretary-General has been made public for the first time and can be found together with links to their informal dialogues and media stakeouts on the President’s website 


Please follow the debate on Twitter at #UNSGcandidates.



Event: Global Townhall with UN SG candidates

Time, Date, Venue: Tuesday 12 July, 6-9pm EST, General Assembly Hall

Register to attend: By noon on Monday 11 July here

Watch remotely: on Al Jazeera Media Network and UN WebTV #UNSGcandidates.

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