An informal meeting of the UN General Assembly with the participation of the UN Secretary-General-designate António Guterres held at the UN headquarters in New York on 19 October 2016. During the meeting, ambassadors of the Organisation’s Member States could address their suggestions and put their questions to the future head of the UN Secretariat.
An informal meeting with A. Guterres was a continuation of work to change the procedure of selection and appointment of the UN Secretary-General through the initiative to revitalise the UN General Assembly. The Republic of Belarus is one of the initiators and active participants in this process.
Andrei Dapkiunas, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN attended the meeting of the General Assembly. In his statement (in Russian), the Head of Mission of Belarus to the UN pointed out that for the new head of the United Nations Secretariat in his future work it would be important to find the right balance between “secretarial” and “general’s” components of his office. According to the Belarusian Ambassador, Secretary-General should avoid initiating practical steps on behalf of the entire Organisation on issues the UN General Assembly has no broad agreement on.
However, in situations where UN Member States are not able or do not want to hear each other, the Secretary-General may and must play a positive “general's” function as an active convener and an honest broker.
Belarusian representative to the UN also drew the attention of the future head of the UN Secretariat to the undervalued role of multilingualism and translation, as a profession and art, in improving the climate of interaction and mutual trust in the organisation. A. Dapkiunas called to consider the costs for providing the quality and the live nature of translation, as well as the promotion of real multilingualism in the United Nations, not as an unnecessary load, but as an investment in the future of a more united and more tolerant world.