We believe that a woman Secretary-General must lead the United Nations. After the appointment of eight male Secretaries-General, a female Secretary-General is urgently needed to foster gender equality in the leadership of the UN.
Beyond ensuring that the next UN Secretary-General is a woman, we believe that the successful candidate must be a woman who brings a strong feminist perspective to the UN, in line with the UN’s core values of human rights, equality, and justice.
At a time when the UN is engaging in a new role of overseeing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, the next UN Secretary-General must also be a woman who has demonstrated a capacity to address the global structures, systems and values that undermine gender equality, women’s human rights around the world and that stand in the way of transformative development justice.
We, therefore, call for a woman Secretary-General who has a demonstrable commitment to:
- Advancing a bold, comprehensive women’s human rights agenda in intergovernmental fora that recognizes the indivisibility and universality of women’s human rights;
- Challenging inequality in all of its forms, including economic and social inequality between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women.
- Taking urgent and equitable action to halt current environmental crises and their social impacts, including climate change;
- Ensuring that the UN implements the reforms necessary to protect its status as a genuinely democratic multilateral institution that acts in the interests of all people and all countries, and not just the most powerful;
- Taking action to ensure that feminist and civil society movements are not just observers in policymaking, but active and equal participants;
- Promoting women’s leadership at all levels; and
- Ensuring that the integrity of the UN and its agencies is not undermined by the influence of private funding, including by the corporate sector.