January 27, 2021

Susana Malcorra believes that being a woman closed the door on leading the UN

Susana Malcorra believes that being a woman closed the door on leading the UN


Former Argentine Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra considered, in statements to Efe, that being a woman closed the door on her to be elected in 2016 as Secretary General of the United Nations, an organization that has always been led by men and criticized for not taking the step of choose a leader.

"It seems to me that there is not enough awareness yet, there is a feeling that I do not know why women are not yet in a position to run that institution," says Mauricio Macri's ex-Government representative, presenting his first book in Buenos Aires: Passion for the result: the feminine leadership before the big decisions ".

In October 2016, former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres received the backing of the UN Security Council to become the new UN Secretary-General in January of the following year, replacing Ban Ki-moon.

Nine other candidates competed for this position, among them Malcorra -who had held senior positions in the institution between 2004 and 2015-, proposed by the Argentine Executive.

"I think a missed opportunity is that of a career as a general secretary, and it is not an opportunity missed by me as a person, because we were seven women competing and the decision was that it was not a woman, I have no doubt," excanciller to be consulted if throughout his career has lost opportunities for a gender condition.

According to adds, of those women candidates, "when one analyzes their profile and career and what they put on the table" stands out that it was "totally competitive" with the men who were in the short list.

"With all the recognition for Secretary General Guterres, who has a history, but it was evident that it was a decision not to have a woman, it represents a lost opportunity for all of us who competed, but for the organization as well," he said.

The UN is governed by a system of regional rotation to appoint positions such as secretary general, and the stakes were in favor of an Eastern European representative, although none of them managed to finally convince the Security Council.

In 2016, the idea was being promoted that a woman would replace Ban Ki-moon, and therefore among the ten candidates there were three women from that European area.

For Malcorra, who at the United Nations was deputy executive director of the World Food Program, deputy secretary of the Department of Field Support and Ban's chief of staff, in 2015, when the UN was seventy years old, "there was that notion that it was time for there to be a general secretary, and it was not like that. "

Withdrawn from the Argentine government since he decided to leave his position as chancellor in 2017 to dedicate himself to his family, he does not believe that it is possible to resume his candidacy for the UN in the future.

"No. It seems to me that there is a time for everything, you never know, something I learned in life is never say, but times pass," he concludes.

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