In 1981 Dr. Salim ran as a candidate for the United Nations Secretary General to both succeed and challenge Kurt Waldehim, who was running for a third term. Throughout the year, Dr. Salim had to have multiple conversations and sessions with key stakeholders in order to know the country position and whether they would either support, reject or abstain from his candidacy. This is just a sample of those multiple conversations.
"I briefed Mwalimu on the rumors, speculations and specific questions raised about my possible candidature for the post of Secretary General. I told him that hitherto I had not raised the matter with him because I felt they were mere speculations. But since I assumed the Presidency of the Thirty Fourth Session, the speculations had mounted, and more importantly some Ministers, Ambassadors and other diplomatic colleagues have raised the matter with me either directly or through third parties and have sought to persuade me to present my candidature. Some have even intimated that they will do their own campaigning on my behalf." - Dr. Salim (Notes February 11, 1980)