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About the UN Secretary General Campaign

We are challenging the 2026 United Nations Selection Process to ensure humanity stands a chance at survival. 

Climate change, artificial intelligence, wars, dictatorships, pandemics, and poverty are global challenges that threaten us all (read our political programme here). They are the elephant in the room, currently untackled. Our bid for the United Nations Secretary-General role will change that.  

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The next United Nations Secretary-General will not be elected but selected. Every five years, a few world powers choose the Chief of the United Nations behind closed doors and without any public involvement, resulting in a man being selected to preserve the status quo.

That’s obviously an oversimplification, but it’s the gist of it. 

  • The UN website will tell you that the General Assembly - which represents all countries - appoints this person on the recommendation of the Security Council.
  • Here’s the thing: the Security Council always recommends just one candidate, which means they decide. On top of it, its Permanent Members - the US, UK, France, China & Russia - have a right to veto. They alone choose who will become the next leader of the UN, as they can block anyone else. 
  • It results in the person that will upset the least/appease the most those hyper-polarized powers being selected instead of someone with a vision of how to get out of the perma-crises we are in.

Every few years, this process is superficially improved. Civil society is given a chance to speak with candidates. Countries can nominate candidates. However, the core issue remains: no public involvement exists, and five countries decide who leads the world. Thus, this person lacks legitimacy, credibility and the ability to rally the world behind much-needed action.

We, the peoples, must have a say. We, the peoples, must take charge. Our survival is at stake.

Endorse Our Campaign

This is Atlas’ first political campaign and the first of its kind for the United Nations. We have a lot to do in the next two years. Beyond the usual grassroots events/protests and communication, we are focusing on:

  • The Survival Bill | This is our cry for Unity. It is our Global Political Programme, based on the values of equity, wellbeing and freedom. It is our promise to you: as we run to become United Nations Secretary-General, we promise to do everything in our power to ensure our survival. Read it here, and get ready to vote for it at our Summit in July 2024.
  • Survival Sundays | Every month, we organise global consultations to harness your ideas, vision, and passion to solve the most urgent threats of our times. The United Nations is too remote, isolated and out of touch with the people of our planet. Through Survival Sundays, we change this, involving individuals and communities from around the planet. Sign up for the next Survival Sunday here.
  • September 20th, 2024 | Save the date for a massive and disruptive event, September 20-27. We don’t want to spoil the news, so watch out 👀 here

Through those activities, we intend to mobilise millions of people to challenge the Secretary-General selection process, put survival threats front and centre and start a political revolution. Those activities will enable us to get a radical programme, meaningfully involve communities worldwide, and gain the credibility needed to advance in the process!

The selection process is very opaque. There is no official timeline yet. However, the current Secretary-General’s term ends in December 2026. Working backwards, this means that the official race is set to start around the fall of 2025 or the beginning of 2026, with the selection being made in the summer of 2026. 

We are starting early, announcing our bid in 2024 because challenging the most powerful countries in the world and building momentum around an unfair political race that seems so far away from everyday concerns takes time. We must raise funds, create awareness, mobilise and organise communities, and work together for change. It’s a monumental task!

  1. Create political change | By challenging this outdated, inefficient and failing system, we can create much-needed political momentum for reforms to happen. We are not naive; we know winning this campaign will be extremely difficult. We are often diametrically opposed to several superpowers in the Security Council: they will do their best to block us. On top of it, most countries want the UN to represent their interests instead of the people’s. Still, by coming together in our millions, we cannot be ignored. We can stand a chance to be selected. And regardless, we will build the necessary awareness to reform the United Nations.
  2. Get our political programme adopted | As mentioned, this isn’t about us. It’s about all of us. For humanity to stand a chance at a future worth living, we must take radical global action to deal with the most important threats of our times and give us a chance at thriving in the future. By collaboratively coming up with solutions to those issues and spending years bringing them to the front of the political debate, we can ensure the next UN Secretary-General - Colombe or whoever she might end up being - adopts our programme and pushes with everything they have for its implementation.
  3. Ignite the fire of a revolution | This campaign is just the beginning. It is the spark that will make the revolution for survival an unstoppable wave. We won’t change the world by only running at the United Nations or in one country or region. Atlas will run for office worldwide, from your city council, country, and region to, yes, the United Nations. But this campaign will bind us together.

Colombe Cahen-Salvador is not your regular candidate. She has been called too young, too radical, unqualified. We call her the right type of wrong at this time in history. 

Why? The UN Secretary-General is a figurehead who can be as much or as little as they permit themselves to be. With little competencies, their willingness to name and shame, push for radical action or simply uphold the status quo determines the direction the UN takes. In normal times, UN Secretaries-General are bureaucrats or former political leaders who lately have tried to use diplomatic routes, backroom deals and appeasement as core strategies. But this isn’t working. Think of Gaza, Ukraine, poverty, COVID-19 vaccine apartheid, the use of AI and more. The time for radical change is now, or it will be too late. In times of crises, the world needs political leadership, radical action, and a clear moral compass. The world needs to put the people’s and planet’s interests first. Not countries’. 

Colombe will be that voice. As our co-founder, she accepted the monumental task of running for the most unfair and closed selection process, with no funds and little support. She is doing so as she is committed to creating a world that can survive and where future generations can live better, more freely and equitably. And she isn’t as unqualified as you might think. Having co-founded a pan-European party elected across Europe, and now Atlas to ensure humanity’s survival, she has run many campaigns tackling the inequities of the United Nations system and challenging countries’ abhorrent records. But more than this, she is committed to working with the people of the world, for the people of the world. She will count on experts, experienced UN staffers, and innovative thinkers who are all willing to improve our world.

Learn more about her motivation and story here, and stay up to date on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, X, Tik Tok, Threads, and Substack

 

LEARN HOW TO SUPPORT HERE

 

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Atlas is the global political movement uniting humanity for survival. Join us! 



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