Candidates for UN Secretary-General Respond to the UN Accountability Pledge*
Igor Lukšić is the first to #TakeThePledge
New York, August 5, 2016 — Last week, 37 civil society organizations came together to call on candidates for UN Secretary-General to sign a UN Accountability Pledge. Since the launch of the pledge, Dr. Igor Lukšić (Montenegro) has signed, and Dr. Danilo Türk (Slovenia) and Dr. Srgjan Kerim (Macedonia) made formal offers of support.
(* The invitations sent to male candidates included this wording: "We are writing to all candidates to encourage them to take the pledge, and will be publicizing the status of the endorsements widely. As you may know, AIDS-Free World has argued strongly for a woman as the next Secretary-General. Nonetheless, since you are a candidate for the post, we would wish that you, too, sign the pledge.")
Dr. Igor Lukšić of Montenegro became the first candidate to sign the UN Accountability Pledge:
Dr. Danilo Türk of Slovenia declined to sign the pledge, but in his response to the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and AIDS-Free World, he cited his dedicated support to the principles outlined in the pledge. "[W]hile it is not possible for me as candidate to undertake formal pledges, it is abundantly clear where my heart is and how I intend to approach the critically important issues of accountability in the years to come."
Dr. Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia also declined to take the pledge, but offered his support for the 'greater transparency and accountability within the UN system," which he cited as, "indispensable for creating a stronger and more effective organization." He also affirmed his belief, "that ethical integrity and responsibility should be the guiding principles in any mission or challenge that [the] UN undertakes."
His message to the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, below:
"I want to express my full support for your initiative in promoting greater transparency and accountability within the UN system, which I believe are truly indispensible for creating a stronger and more effective organization. I have always firmly believed that ethical integrity and responsibility should be the guiding principles in any mission or challenge that UN undertakes and I will continue as a candidate for the post of UN Secretary General to advocate and raise awareness on these values. It is my imperative that any form of abuse should be sanctioned properly. The Haiti cholera crisis has been an unfortunate and truly devastating occurrence for the nation of Haiti and its people, and I believe the UN will continue working with other agencies to aid the people of Haiti in any way possible.
As I am committed and fully support these principles of accountability and transparency, I must revert your attention to the UN Charter (specifically Articles 25 and 30) which serves as an anchor of this organization and obliges each Member State equally regardless of its size and power. In this regard, I want to stress the importance of always referring to the Charter when it comes to finding the best and most effective ways in approaching challenging issues.
Therefore, you have my utmost support that I will continue striving for a stronger, more transparent, just and accountable UN system.
Best of luck
Srgjan Kerim "
Christina Figueres declined to support the pledge. Her office responded to the request by saying, "While she cannot sign any pledge on any topic, you have heard where she stands. Furthermore, she realizes that she is positively influencing the SG race agenda and she looks forward to further engagement on UN accountability issues."
(UN Photo / Mark Garten)