My Lords, would the Minister agree that, now that Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa have all held the office for considerable periods, the next appointment—if it is not to be a continuation of Kofi Annan's term—should not be based on a pre-determined regional origin? It is possible to break out of that now.
Would he not also agree that, sticking to the present procedure that he outlined for appointment, there could be major improvements in the transparency of the process? For example, if the Security Council were to appoint a search committee, candidates could be asked to put forward their views on how the organisation should be run and directed in the period ahead. If that could be introduced, it would be a huge improvement over the smoke-filled room procedures that have prevailed up to now.