One company is seeking to replace its secretary-general – and it’s an arduous process for anyone wishing to replace Ban Ki-moon in the UN.

The UN has been working on replacing the current secretary-general for the past 8 months, and have until late October to elect a new leader before Ban Ki-moon concludes his term. The difficulty with electing someone to such a position lies with the conflicting interests at play; namely the USA’s wish for Argentinian foreign minister Susana Malcorra to be elected, against Russia’s wish for Bulgarian diplomat and UNESCO director-genera Irina Bokova to achieve the role.

So why is the process so difficult? Firstly, there are rounds of early voting held via secret straw polls. This stage allows the UN to understand the extent to which various candidates are supported. These polls have thus far been repeated three times, and the pool has narrowed to 10 candidates. PPE and HSPS applicants should consider how this voting system is either similar or dissimilar to other voting systems in international organisations.

The application process closes with each candidate being required to give a live, two-hour televised interview, with the aim of increasing the transparency of what the UN does.

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