United Nations, May 7: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, whose term as the world body's chief will end next year, has said it is "high time" for a woman to lead the organisation.
The Secretary General has said at several public venues that "he thinks it's high time for a Secretary-General to be a woman," Bans Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here yesterday when asked if the UN Chief has weighed in on the debate over a woman leading the 70-year old organisation.
Haq said while it was not in Ban's hands to determine who his successor will be.
"He's not going to offer any opinions about who should be selected, but certainly, the time for a female Secretary General has come," Haq said.
He added that Ban meets several women in very prominent positions in national and international politics and in the UN but it is not up to him to see whether he can help them become the next Secretary-General.
Ban took office in January 2007 and was unanimously re-elected for a second term by the General Assembly in June 2011. He would continue to serve as the UN Chief till December 2016.
Momentum is building up to make the selection process of the UN Chief more transparent amid growing frustration over the dominance of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in the appointing the Secretary General.
India too has voiced support for giving due consideration to women candidates and regional representation while deciding on the new Secretary General.
India's Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji had said last month that the new Secretary-General should reflect the aspirations of the broader United Nations membership and due regard must be being given to "regional rotation and gender equality."