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Arora Akanksha has worked at the United Nations as an auditor recruited from an accounting firm. She is 34-years old, and she has no diplomatic experience. But her ideas, confidence and boldness, are acknowledged by even the most prominent diplomats.
She is here to challenge the status quo and take over the current Secretary-General António Guterres, 71, a veteran Portuguese politician and former U.N. High Commissioner for refugees.
None saw her coming, but on February 17, Arora, born in India, refugee, and citizen of Canada, submitted a formal letter of application for the 2022-27 term with one clear statement: “We are not living up to our purpose or our promise……We are failing those we are here to serve.”
Like many Hindus, her grandparents fled from Pakistan to India after the 1947 partition, a fact that touches her deeply. She moved to Dubai at the age of 6, from age 9 to 18 she was back in India attending boarding school, and then decided to move to Canada, where she graduated from York University with honours and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada as an auditing manager. In 2016 she joined the UN as an auditor.
Her campaign budget of only $30,000 drawn largely from her savings, a website and social media, have inspired millions. Arora has declared herself a candidate to be the next leader of the United Nations, and even though she will be ignored by the old-man politicians, she came to shake things up.
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson said she shared many of Arora’s concerns.
No country has yet formally endorsed her unlikely candidacy. But Arora has touched a nerve at the 193-member organization.
Her campaign focuses on key problem statements:
1.About 29 cents of every dollar, from the U.N.’s total annual revenue of roughly $56 billion, goes to actual causes.
2. 85 million refugees ignored by our leaders are being targeted by terrorist organizations.
3. 8 total reforms to the UN system in more than 70 years of history.
4. 0 women have been secretary-general
5. 62-years old, the average age of the UN leaders
6. 15 cents of every USD are used to address the biggest challenge in human history: Climate Crisis.
“If the United Nations were a private company, it would have been, like, out of business” Arora Akanksha.
While Arora has not received explicit endorsements from powerful U.N. figures, neither has she been discouraged.