Meet the Canadian millennial running to lead the United Nations


Arora Akanksha wants to lead the United Nations.

The 34-year-old UN auditor made headlines earlier this year when she declared her intentions to challenge incumbent UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Should she win, she would be the first woman and the first millennial to lead the international organization in its 75-year history. 

In her first interview with Canadian media, Akanksha told Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos she’s running because she believes the UN isn’t living up to its full potential.

“I believe in the UN, I believe in the purpose and mission it was created for, but the UN today is not serving people the way it’s supposed to serve,” she said. “We do need a new UN and we need it now.”

Akanksha is facing a steep uphill climb in her bid to replace Guterres. 

Under United Nations rules a candidate must secure a nomination letter from a member state to run for the position of Secretary-General. 

After meeting with Canadian UN Ambassador Bob Rae, she’s still waiting to hear whether they will formally endorse her campaign. 

“It was a positive discussion,” Akanksha told Power & Politics. “I’m still waiting to hear what Canada’s position would be.”

‘Experience is a liability’

When it comes to her skeptics, Akanksha said experience doesn’t always translate to results. 

“Sometimes too much experience in one area makes you lock down into the thinking of that organization,” she said. “You cannot even think differently. Silence becomes an acceptable response.” 

With her candidacy, she’s hoping to bring fresh perspectives to revive how the international organization delivers its services. 

“I think the gamble this election would be to have the same person, with the same experiences as before and expect different results,” Akanksha said. “We all know the UN is not capable of delivering on what it’s capable of delivering.” 2021-04-02 23:10:14


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