Secretary or General?
The UN Secretary-General in World Politics
Edited by Simon Chesterman
Foreword by Kofi A. Annan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2007
Online Publication Date:January 2010
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618680.018
Letter from F. Paolo Fulci, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Italy, President of the Security Council, New York, 31 December 1996.
At the luncheon of Members of the Security Council, hosted on 14 October 1996 by the President for that month, the Permanent Representative of Honduras, H.E. Ambassador Gerardo Martinez Blanco, it was decided to begin the consultations for the Council's recommendation on the appointment of the Secretary-General (Article 97 of the United Nations' Charter) in the following month.
Therefore the question was taken up by the President for November, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia, H.E. Ambassador Nugroho Wisnumurti. At the beginning of his term of office, he submitted to the members of the Security Council a set of guidelines to facilitate the process of selecting a candidate. After slight amendments, the guidelines were adopted at the luncheon he hosted on 12 November, when it was also decided to begin the decision-making process on 18 November. A first vote, on 19 November, was inconclusive.
Italy became the President of the Security Council on 1 December. The “Wisnumurti Guidelines” as they came to be known proved to be instrumental to reaching a decision by acclamation on Mr. Kofi Annan as the candidate recommended to the General Assembly on 13 December. On the same day, the Members of the Council decided that the Guidelines should be printed as a reference document for future occasions when the Council is called on to recommend the appointment of a Secretary-General.
APPENDIX: selected documents on the Secretary-General