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Debating the future of the UN

12.07.16 - Tonight, ten of the candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon will go head-to-head to debate the future of the United Nations.

History will be made tonight with the first-ever live televised debate between the candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon as Secretary-General of the United Nations. 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


UN Headquarters, venue of the debates. Photo: Telegraph.

The live debate is part of a drive to make the selection process at the top of the UN more open and transparent. This is likely be the last time to hear from the candidates before the Security Council begins the deliberations to choose the new Secretary-General.

Current candidates for Secretary-General of the United Nations :

  • Irina Bokova (Director of UNESCO)
  • Helen Clark (ex-Prime Minister of New Zealand)
  • Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
  • Natalia Gherman (ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs for Moldova)
  • António Guterres (UN High Commissioner for Refugees)
  • Vuk Jeremić (ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia)
  • Srgjan Kerim (ex-President of the UN General Assembly)
  • Miroslav Lajčák (ex-High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Igor Lukšić (ex-Prime Minister of Montenegro)
  • Susana Malcorra (current Minister of Foreign Affairs for Argentina)
  • Vesna Pusić (ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs for Croatia)
  • Danilo Türk (ex-President of Slovenia)


8 of the candidates for Secretary-General this round. Photo: BBC.

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.

For the first time, world-wide audiences will be able to watch, listen and follow the UN Town Hall debate outlining candidates’ visions on the future impact of the UN on the lives of seven billion people in the countries it represents.

“The candidates for this crucial role will discuss the issues that are having devastating effects around the world from civil wars and terrorism to refugees fleeing their homes, catastrophic climate change, and ecological disasters, among others,” Al Najjar, director of Global Brand and Communications of Al Jazeera said.

Candidates have already held many informal dialogues with member states, stakeholders and civil society groups but this is first time that they will face a large-scale townhall debate. 

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