Winnie Byanyima Wants Ban Ki Moon Replaced By A Woman

Oxfam Boss Winnie Byanyima is seeking a female replacement of the current UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon

The United Nations (UN) Security Council is still considering candidates for the next UN Secretary General.

The current holder of arguably the topmost political office in the world, ailment Mr Ban Ki Moon is serving his second and last term which expires at the end of this year.

The selection process of the UN Secretary General, although transparent, accessible and driven largely by civil society; rests essentially on the UN Security Council’s five permanent members.

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Since 1946, the council has provided a total of eight Secretary Generals; three Europeans, two Africans, two Asians and one Latin American – all of them men.

This fact has got the current Oxfam International Executive Director Mrs. Winnie Byanyima unsettled.

In 2006, the Secretary General selection process included only one woman in seven candidates. Byanyima however notes with concern that although this time round, half the current candidates are women, the results of the ongoing Security Council “straw polls” are not encouraging.

Last night’s (Friday) straw poll results leaked almost immediately on social media, indicating that former Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres was establishing a comfortable lead with 11encourgements and 2 discouragements.

“There is no shortage of talent,” Mrs Byanyima pointed out.  “Yet the initial signs are not promising. The Security Council’s first straw poll on July 21st saw only one woman among the top five.”

She said in a statement, “The absurd male monopoly on the UN’s top job must come to an end. The next Secretary-General must be both a woman and a feminist, with the determination and leadership to promote women’s rights and gender equality.”

Growing up as an activist under an oppressive dictatorship in Uganda, Byanyima says,  the UN was a friend to people like her who fought their way to freedom, as it was for the millions that joined decolonization struggles in the African continent.

Byanyima believes that choosing a woman for the goes far beyond symbolism and political correctness.

“The discrimination of women and girls goes to the core of any and all analyses of the world’s economic, political and environmental problems. A feminist woman Secretary-General will, by definition and action, ensure gender equality is put at the heart of peace, security and development. In doing so, she will truly champion the UN’s core values of human rights, equality and justice.

“Such an appointment – far too long in coming – would fulfil promises given by world leaders 21 years ago at the historic UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to nominate more women to senior posts in the UN. In the past decade, women have filled less than a quarter of senior roles at the organization, according to UN Women. Shockingly, as recently as last year women made up less than 17 percent of Under- and Assistant Secretary-General appointments.

“A new feminist UN Secretary General will ensure that more women serve as heads of UN agencies, peacekeeping missions, diplomatic envoys, and senior mediators who collectively can strengthen the global peace and security agenda. Without women’s equal access to positions of decision-making power and a clear process to get there, gender equality, global security and peace will never be realized.”

The UN Security Council must agree on a single name by the end of October as currently stipulated on its schedule.


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