Vesna Pusić Withdraws as Candidate for UN Secretary General

By 4 August 2016

In an official statement, the former Croatian Foreign Minister explains her reasons.

Vesna Pusić, former Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, announced on Thursday that she had decided to withdraw her candidacy for United Nations Secretary General. She explained her reasons in a statement, reports Index.hr on August 4, 2016.

“The Croatian government which was in office from 2011 to 2016 nominated me as a candidate for Secretary General of the United Nations. On the basis of the resolution of the UN General Assembly adopted in September 2015, the selection procedure for UN Secretary-General was modified somewhat and included public presentation of the candidates and a debate in front of the General Assembly.

As the Croatian candidate, I have participated in all these public presentations and activities, as well as in discussions closed to the public. All my public appearances and interviews are available on social networks and websites. My public appearances at the UN are available on my website dedicated to the candidacy. I have clearly represented my vision of the UN, an organization that is regaining its importance and potential impact. However, the new goals will be achieved only with a new, creative approach, without excessive bureaucracy, with a simplified organizational structure, and with strong links with member states, regional organizations, and civil society and academic institutions.

It was a great pleasure and challenge to participate in this historic selection process and to present my vision of the future development of the UN. This new procedure has attracted a number of high-quality candidates. Some of the candidates come from the UN institutions, while the second half of this group of candidates, including me, are people with political and international experience, but without any previous experience of working at the UN. After the first round of informal voting in the UN Security Council, it became clear that the election of a new UN Secretary General would go in the direction of a candidate from the organization itself – a person who works or has worked at the UN. After the first round, I believe that my chances for election are not plausible. Therefore, I withdraw my candidacy for UN Secretary General and will not participate in further activities.

I would like to thank everyone who provided their assistance and support in this interesting project. I am especially grateful to the government of Zoran Milanović, which nominated me, and to my colleagues from the Croatian People's Party (HNS) who have, as always, provided a smart, constructive and effective support. I would also like to thank Tihomir Orešković who, as the Prime Minister, was the only member of the current state leadership who publicly expressed his support. I have understood it as his effort to try to protect the dignity of Croatia in a very bizarre situation.

Above all, I am glad that Croatia had its candidate in this historic process. I have approached it honourably, and the participation in it was an absolutely fascinating experience”, concludes Pusić in her statement.