The Baltic states officially put forward Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga as a candidate to succeed the current UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
No woman has ever held the post, although Annan has spoken in favour of a woman secretary-general
"The United Nations requires a Secretary General who will be willing to listen to and to respect the views of all, but who will also have the personal courage to push for the necessary, but possibly unpopular decisions, that are needed for the good of the organization as a whole.
A Secretary General must be endowed with leadership, vision, fairness and objectivity. He or she must be a true citizen of the world who can feel the pulse of humanity. He or she must have the passion and commitment to spare no effort in facing up to the most demanding of challenges. Today the UN is at a crossroads and faces two choices - to address the challenges of the 21st Century through the combined efforts of all its member States, or to gradually lose its influence in the international community.
As many of you are aware, I recently announced my decision to submit my candidacy for the position of the Secretary General of the United Nations. I highly appreciate the confidence placed in me by the UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan as he appointed me Special Envoy on UN Reform.
I am personally committed to addressing the challenges posed by the UN reform and promoting human rights, freedom and democracy, including gender equality. While women represent half of the world's population, no woman has ever been at the helm of this organization. I believe that the time has come for a woman to be considered a serious candidate for the position of Secretary General." the president of the republic of Latvia said in her address at the 61st session of the UN General Assembly, New York, 19 September 2006.