Intervention by Ambassador Katalin Bogyay on the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly at the Third Thematic Meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group, held on 27 April 2015.
I thank you for convening this timely meeting. While fully supporting the statements delivered on behalf of the ACT Group, the EEG and the European Union, allow me to add a few observations in my national capacity on the selection of the Secretary-General.
Recently we have seen a lot of activities, by Member States and NGOs, aimed at creating more transparency, clarity, inclusiveness and more participation in the process.
We see these endeavours not only as improvements enhancing the legitimacy of the process, but also as providing great legitimacy, trust and respect to the next Secretary-General. This is why Hungary has played an active role on this issue as member of the ACT Group.
Hungary believes that great improvements could be achieved with practical steps that can be taken within the existing framework.
Transparency and clarity requires the enumeration of, and timelines for, each step of the process, leading up to the appointment of the next Secretary-General. Hungary strongly supports the establishment of a clear nomination procedure resulting in a list of official candidates, together with their qualifications and programs.
We believe that candidates should be allowed to interact publicly with the Security Council and the wider membership of the United Nations in order to describe their vision.
Hungary acknowledges the relevant Charter provisions and General Assembly resolutions on the appointment process. Hungary agrees with a large number of Countries that advocate for no changes in the existing framework, but call for their actual implementation.
The need for regional and gender balance has been, time and again, repeated in relevant resolutions. In theory, these long standing principles should therefore go hand in hand with any other criteria such as on merit.
Hungary therefore calls for the continued and principled application of the regional criteria, and reiterates its strong wish for the actual implementation of the gender criteria, while selecting the best candidate.
We would argue for a brilliant diplomat with personal merit, vision, charisma, intelligence, openness and integrity, and at the same time ready to listen, learn, understand and represent all of us who would and could be trusted with the task becoming secretary but also acting as a general of this noble organization. We would support someone with talent, and will, master managerial and communicational skills, who could and would find common grounds, protect the values of the UN Charter and make UN more understandable to the peoples of the world. We would prefer this master diplomat coming from the Eastern European Group and being a woman.
The proposals of ACT, also promulgated by Hungary are not a bit revolutionary. These are common sense steps, best practices that have been time-tested and widely applied, even for the high level appointments of the Executive Heads of the United Nations.
The only element we need is political will and the sense of urgency. Indeed, if we want to see these improvements being applied for the selection process of the next Secretary-General, we have to act now. For any change that comes after the campaign has started, even the ones with the best of intentions, will only confuse the selection process.