Update on the Appointment of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

3 December 2014

Earlier today the Secretariat issued a statement announcing that it would request candidate nominations for the position of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.   The announcement follows the outcry surrounding UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s recommendation to the Secretary-General that Andrew Lansley, his friend and political ally, be appointed to the post. 

The decision seems to refute the informal understanding that the United Kingdom would select the next appointee for the position. Instead, the Secretariat's note paves the way for a more open and transparent selection process.  The note  includes a detailed job description; candidate qualifications; and a deadline for nominations.  The Secretary-General particularly requests that female candidates be recommended for the position. 

Notably, it appears that candidates do not need to be nominated by a member state to be taken into consideration, as is the case with certain other high-level appointments.  In 2006, for instance, the Security Council only considered candidates for Secretary-General who had been recommended by a member state. 

The current Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, has announced that she will leave the position March of next year.  Nominations for the position will be accepted until the 5 of January, 2015.  

This post is an update to an earlier story. To read more about the controversy, please see our original post.