Procedure of Selecting and Appointing the next UN Secretary-General


next SG selection photo

President Thomson renewed the commitment President Lykketoft made to run his Presidency in the most open and transparent manner possible. This also applies to the process of selecting and appointing the next United Nations Secretary-General.

The position of Secretary-General is one of great importance that requires the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, and a firm commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The President of the General Assembly and of the Security Council invite candidates to be presented with proven leadership and managerial abilities, extensive experience in international relations, and strong diplomatic, communication and multilingual skills.

Member States are invited to present candidates in a letter to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council.

The Presidents of the General Assembly and of the Security Council will jointly circulate to all Member States, on an ongoing basis, and publish on this webpage, the names of individuals that have been submitted for consideration.


UNSC recommended candidate Antonio Guterres ©Aljazeera Debate

Mr. António Guterres

Official GA document A/70/768 – S/2016/206
Vision Statement of António Guterres
Informal dialogue with António Guterres [12 April 2016]
Civil society questions answered by António Guterres [12 April 2016]
 Security Council Recommendation [7 October 2016]
Acceptance speech on appointment by General Assembly to the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations [13 October 2016]
Media stakeout of António Guterres [13 October 2016]
Informal meeting with the UN GA plenary [19 October 2016]


The letters submitted by Member States following the procedure laid out in the joint letter of 15 December 2015 for presenting candidates for the position of the next United Nations Secretary-General will be published below.

NGLS process for civil society to ask questions for UNSG candidates

As part of a more open, transparent and inclusive selection and appointment process, UN-NGLS facilitated a call for questions from civil society that could be asked of UN Secretary-General candidates during UN General Assembly dialogues with the candidates. The first round of dialogues with nine candidates took place 12 – 14 April 2016. The second round of dialogues with two additional candidates took place on 7 June. A Global Townhall with ten candidates took place on 12 July in UN General Assembly Hall, broadcast live on UN WebTV by Al Jazeera media. A third round of UN General Assembly dialogues with one new candidate took place on 14 July, and a fourth with one final new candidate on 3 October.

UN-NGLS convened a civil society Committee through an application process to review all questions submitted and create short-lists for the Office of the President of the General Assembly to select from for inclusion in the General Assembly dialogues.

Civil Society Committee Members

Civil Society Committee Members

Joannes Paulus Yimbesalu – A World at School – Cameroon
Kate Lappin – Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) – Australia
Kashmiri Stec – AYUDH – Poland
Parsu Ram Rai – Blue Diamond Society – Nepal
Sabine Saliba – Child Rights International Network – Lebanon
Olumide Idowu – Climate Wednesday – Nigeria
Melina Lito – Equality Now  – Albania
Volker Lehmann – Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – NY / Germany
Leonardo Párraga – Fundación BogotArt – Colombia
Mohammad Hassan    Mashori – Fundamental Human Rights & Rural Development Association FHRRDA – Pakistan
Peter van Tuijl – Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)    Netherlands
Mark Ross – Global Youth Movement – Guyana  – Guyana
Angela Muthama – Human Rights and Information Forum  – Kenya
Ben Homer – Innovation & Planning Agency – Austria / USA
Sandra Creamer – International Indigenous Womens Forum – Australia
Eleanor Openshaw – International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) – UK
Pefi Kingi – PACIFICWIN – New Zealand
Federica D’Alessandra – Public International Law & Policy Group    Italy
Hugh Dugan – Seton Hall University, School of Diplomacy, Center for UN and Global Governance Studies – USA
Kirthi Jayakumar – The Red Elephant Foundation – India
Eleanor Blomstrom – Women’s Environment and Development Organization – USA INGO
Ritah Muyambo – World YWCA – Zimbabwe

Civil society was invited to contribute questions via Twitter or Instagram using #UNSGcandidates, or send them in via an online form using the link above. More than 1500 questions were submitted from over 100 countries Two to three questions from civil society were asked via video during each UN General Assembly dialogue with a candidate, and two were asked in person during the Global Townhall.

Additionally all candidates are asked to answer the same 10 selected civil society questions, which can be found here: 10 civil society questions for all candidates

Click here to view videos of all civil society questions asked of the candidates, as well as the candidate responses

All videos on next Secretary-General selection process:

Videos: Next Secretary-General

First group – Leading the United Nations: A Global Townhall with UN Secretary-General candidates

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Second group – Leading the United Nations: A Global Townhall with UN Secretary-General candidates

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Global Townhall Event with Candidates for UN Secretary-General

All photos of Global Townhall Event