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Arora Akanksha, A Millennial, of Indian descent, declares her candidacy to be UN Chief

Reuters, INDIA

An employee of Indian descent at the UN has declared her candidacy to be its next Secretary-General, the first person to throw her hat in the ring against incumbent Antonio Guterres, who as head of the world organization is seeking a second five-year term beginning January 2022.

Arora Akanksha, 34, working as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) audit coordinator, said she will run for the role of the world's top diplomat and launched her #AroraForSG campaign this month."People in my position aren't supposed to stand up to the ones in charge. We are supposed to wait our turn, hop on the hamster wheel, go to work, keep our heads down and accept that the world is the way it is," Ms Akanksha said in a two-and-a-half-minute campaign video posted online.



"That is why I am running for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I refuse to be a bystander. I will not accept this is the best the UN can do," she says in the video.

Antonio Guterres, 71, announced last month that he will be pursuing a second five-year term as President of the World Organization.

The first term of Mr Guterres will conclude on 31 December of this year and the term of the next Secretary-General will start on 1 January 2022.

Following a reformed appointment procedure that included a public informal dialogue session in the UN General Assembly, Mr Guterres took office on January 1, 2017.

Antonio Guterres is the 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in the 75-year history of the United Nations, no woman has held the position of the world's top diplomat.

On the advice of the Security Council, the Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly, making the appointment of the Secretary-General subject to the veto of each of the five permanent members of the Council.



Antonio Guterres is a candidate for the selection process," Antonio Guterres is a candidate for the selection process. It's not for him to comment on other people who may want to come forward."It is not for him to comment about other people who may want to come forward.

At the press conference, the spokesman for UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, Brenden Varma, was asked if Arora Akanksha had written to the President about her candidacy.

Mr Varma confirmed that no formal correspondence on this matter had been received by the President's office.

Mr Varma had previously said that no notifications of candidacies for the position of Secretary-General had been received from the Member States so far by the President of the General Assembly.

He added that the Member States have historically sent candidates.

n the video, Ms Akanksha adds that it is time that the "UN stop serving politicians and start serving people"."It is time for a new United Nation - a UN that is a guardian for refugees, takes humanitarian crises through to completion and gets technology and education in the hands of all," she says. She also states that these ideas are not difficult and do not need to be achieved for another 75 years.

"It takes someone being bold, being a first - first to speak up, first to take action, first to make a difference and now first to challenge the UN. I'm no longer waiting for the torch to be passed down, I'm taking it because I am part of the generation of change where we don't just talk about change, we cause change," she says.

On Twitter, she also thanked supporters and encouraged them to vote.



Arora Akanksha graduated with a Bachelor of Administrative Studies from York University, Toronto, according to her profile on her UNOW.org website.

She earned her Master's degree from Columbia University in Public Administration.

Her profile states that she was employed by the UN to assist with the organization's financial reforms, and her work included the updating of UN financial laws and rules and the supervision of internal and external UNDP audits.

A story on the PassBlue news site reported that Arora Akanksha, born in India, has Indian Overseas Citizenship and a Canadian passport.

She did not ask for an official endorsement from either government. She is still hopeful that the selection process will shake up her candidacy, the report said.


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