Questions from and Answers to New York Times
Last weekend, Danilo Turk received several questions relating to the United Nations from the New York Times. These questions and his answers provided on 3 April 2016 are reproduced below
1. What would you like the world to know about you as a person beyond the items listed on your CV?
My long, deep and diverse experience in the UN has convinced me about the importance of objectivity and impartiality. In all decisions I would listen to the parties involved in the issue at hand, as well as to my advisers, reflect on the advice I receive and take my own impartial decision.
2. Would you set up a compensation board for the victims of cholera in Haiti? Yes or no, and why?
While it is true that UN enjoys immunity, it is only a matter of humanity and justice to provide the victims with a fair process and an effective remedy. I understand that this is being discussed at present within the UN, including in particular with the members of the Security Council, and I trust that humane and credible decisions will be made.
3. How do you propose to address sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping? Pls be as specific as possible.
I would provide all the available evidence to all the relevant troop contributing countries and insist on prosecution, failing which they would be excluded from the future PKOs. In addition, I would have the work of the relevant UN offices and missions fully investigated, determine accountability and then would take the necessary measures.
4. It has become customary for top posts in the secretariat to go to permanent members of the security council - the USG for humanitarian affairs has been a UK post for instance. Do you support this practice? If not, what would you do differently?
The criteria for these posts, as for the others are the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. No member state should be favoured or discriminated against when decisions on senior appointments are made.
5. Some member states and civil society groups have suggested a single term for the next SG. What is your assessment of that idea? Would you voluntarily accept one term?
Certainly. Each appointment relates to one term only. The length of the term, however is for the member states to decide.
6. How do you think member states can or should handle refugees? Is it time to reform the refugee convention? If so, how?
No, the refugee convention should not be changed. Rather, the UN needs a better institutional and policy framework to cope with this massive and tragic phenomenon of our time. Bringing International Organisation on Migrations closer to the UN would be the first step.