Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic has said that the government has decided to nominate her for the post of UN Secretary-General and that she hopes President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will support her nomination.
Speaking to reporters after a government session on Thursday, Pusic said that the decision on her nomination was within the remit of the government and that the president did not formally take part in it, but that it was important and useful to have the president’s support as well.
“She told me on two occasions that she believed that it would be very good for Croatia to have a candidate and that it would definitely be a plus for the country. I hope, based on our two conversations on that topic, that the president will support me, particularly during her stay for the opening of the UN General Assembly session in New York at the end of this month and early October, when she will have the opportunity to meet with and talk to a number of foreign statesmen and heads of state in attendance.”
Pusic said that there was a consensus in the UN to adopt a resolution on September 11 to define a procedure for the election of the next UN Secretary-General that would differ to some extent from the election procedure so far.
Based on that resolution, the chairs of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly will send out a joint letter calling on member-states to nominate their candidates.
It has also been suggested that a list of candidates be finalised by November based not only on nominations but also on interviews with them, meaning that by December the candidates should not only be nominated but interviews with them should be held, Pusic said.
The final decision will be made based on short-listed candidates, to be known by December, and it has been proposed that the decision be made around September next year. The term of the current UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expires in December 2016.
Pusic said that an informal agreement had been reached to look for the first time for a candidate from Eastern Europe. Regional groups were defined after World War II and are somewhat outdated, but so far there has been no UN Secretary-General from Eastern Europe, she said.
She noted that the election procedure was very complicated and that the fact that someone was a candidate did not mean that they would be elected, but that it gave the candidates’ countries an opportunity to become “more visible”.
Pusic also said that she was more likely not to be elected than to be elected UN Secretary-General.
“But during the procedure, Croatia has an opportunity to present itself in the selection process. The country will become more visible in the process and it has a candidate, who, in my opinion, will not disappoint in the presentation. It would be exceptional and fantastic if we are elected eventually, but as far as I am concerned, the selection procedure alone is a big thing and I will do my best in it,” Pusic said.