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Revitalization of the GA

Monday, 29 February 2016
Juan Carlos Mendoza García, Permanent Representative
New York


Thank you very much for convening this informal meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the 

Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. This is a great opportunity to exchange views on the 

proposal to appoint the next Secretary-General for a single non-renewable term.

In my national capacity my delegation would like to make some additional specific comments on the 

election of the first female Secretary General, the presentation of more than one candidate and the 

single non-renewable term of seven years. 

We firmly believe that it is high time for a female Secretary General. Costa Rica is convinced that after 

eight Secretaries-General males and in the light of the commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of 

the United Nations, it is time for a woman to occupy that high office. We are convinced that about half 

of the world population there is not one but many women with higher capacities and skills to occupy 

such a high post. Costa Rica calls upon Member States to present and support female candidates for the 

appointment of Secretary General.

Costa Rica wants to see the democratization of the selection process of the Secretary General. Security 

Council providing plural number of candidates to the General Assembly for the post increases inclusivity, 

transparency and most importantly legitimizes the process through voting. United Nations has 

championed the cause of democracy, and it is indeed ironical why the principle has not adopted in the 

selection process of the most important position in the organization. 

It is clear that the length of term on the appointment of the Secretary General is open to revision and 

needs to be debated. The UN Charter does not need any amendment in order to set the single term 


We need to reflect on the next selection of the Secretary General having in mind that from now on we 

will create a new precedent and a new culture on the topic, it is urgent to set a new practice in which 

the General Assembly has an import role to play, in accordance with the UN Charter, the resolution 

69/321 and other relevant decisions, as well as drafting the final resolution for the appointment of 

Secretary General specifying that the next Secretary General is being appointed for a single non- 

renewable term of seven years.

The single term provides the Secretary General with a political space to get his/her commitments and 

goals without any distraction of getting reappointed. The world challenges, including the 

implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, require a Secretary General without 

campaigning for a reappointment following interests of individual Member States neither.

The current arrangement which provides for a five year term with the possibility of getting re-elected for 

a second term prevents the Secretary General from focusing entirely on the agenda at hand. The 

possibility of holding the office for a second term diverts the attention to campaigning, re-election and 

the complications that comes along. 

A single terms guarantees the Secretary General independence, strengthen her stance, help in giving the 

person in office a stronger voice and it could aid the Secretary General in ensuring that the 

appointments made at other levels are strong, thus raising the overall quality.

We believe that the single term contributes to the accountability of the Secretary General and that 

accountability should be on a regular basis between the Secretary General, the Security Council and the 

General Assembly.  

Independence in the exercise of a position like Secretary General does not means lack of care and 

attention for the relative weight and power different countries exercise in global politics.    In a 

multipolar world is clear that balances are to be made in different tense situations.  Nevertheless, 

fidelity is not to be expected from any country from a Secretary General that should be faithful to the 

Charter and its principles only. 


My delegation appreciates the commitment and important role played by the President of the General 

Assembly in implementing the resolution 69/321 and in this regard the letter dated February 25th, 2016 

regarding informal dialogues with the six candidates for the position of Secretary General to be held 

April 12-14th, 2016.

It is time to act in favor of transparency and democracy. 

Thank you very much.