The UN General Assembly is considering the candidacy of Volkan Bozkir of Turkey for President of its 75th session.
A vote by secret ballot will take place on 17 June in the UNGA Hall.
Bozkir's vision statement prioritizes: the rules-based international system and multilateralism; the needs of vulnerable groups, people in need, and people under oppression; and SDG implementation in countries in special situations.
The UN General Assembly is considering the candidacy of Volkan Bozkir of Turkey for President of its 75th session. During a silence procedure for his election, it was announced that a secret ballot had been requested. The vote by secret ballot will take place on 17 June in the UNGA Hall.
According to the Assembly’s practice of regional rotation among Member States, the President for UNGA 75 is to be selected from the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG). In February 2020, the Group endorsed Bozkir as candidate for the 2020-2021 presidency. Bozkir is a former Member of Parliament in Turkey and former Minister for EU Affairs.
According to his vision statement for the 75th session, Bozkir pledges to support implementation of the UN reform agenda and the 2020 vision of the UN Secretary-General. He indicates that he will prioritize three issues:
- Underlining the irreplaceable nature of the rules-based international system and the importance of multilateralism, taking advantage of the UN’s 75th anniversary;
- Addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, people in need, and people under oppression, such as refugees, immigrants, and stateless persons, and ensuring delivery of humanitarian assistance and respect for international humanitarian law; and
- Focusing on SDG implementation in countries in special situations, including the least developed countries (LDCs).
His vision statement also expresses support for the Secretary-General’s objective of achieving gender parity at all levels at the UN. Bozkir highlights the UNGA’s high-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held on 23 September 2020 in the margins of the 75th general debate.
A virtual dialogue between the candidate and Member States took place on 15 May 2020. On 27 May the current UNGA President, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande commenced a silence procedure for Member States to elect Bozkir. Silence procedure has been used to take UNGA decisions while in-person meetings are not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, on 2 June Muhammad-Bande announced that a request had been made for a vote via secret ballot. The vote will take place on 17 June, simultaneously with the election of non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and members of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
To conduct the secret ballot, each UN Member State will register one representative to enter the UNGA Hall at a designated time to cast their ballot. Muhammad-Bande will oversee the proceedings in the Hall, and the election tellers will observe the election and certify the result.