Inside Story

A Secretary or General?

For the first time in its history, the United Nations is conducting open interviews for the job of Secretary General.

It is the most important role in international diplomacy. The United Nations Secretary General heads up an organisation that’s in charge of keeping the peace around the world.

The role is appointed by the General Assembly – on the recommendation of the Security Council.

And for the first time in the organisation’s 70 year history – candidates vying for that position will have to answer questions in open hearings.

And also for the first time – a woman could become Secretary General. Of those who have put their names forward so far, half of them are women.

But how important is the job? And how will the world’s superpowers react?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Shashi Tharoor – Indian MP and former UN Secretary General candidate

Carne Ross – former British diplomat and founder of the advisory group, Independent Diplomat

Sam Daws – UN specialist at the University of Oxford and former first officer to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Thomas Weiss – professor of political science at City University of New York’s Graduate Centre and Author of What’s Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix it