The former socialist prime minister of Portugal, António Guterres, who had also led the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) from 2005 to 2015, will be ascended to the throne of UN Secretary General to succeed Ban Announcing the result of six rounds of unofficial “straw polls” which span over several months, Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin revealed that Guterres had emerged as a clear favourite.
Subsequently, UN Security Council has officially nominated his name for the role of ninth head of the global body.
Guterres’ margin of victory was decisive. He won 13 votes in his support and two abstentions, with no one voting against him. The second-place candidate, Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia, had seven votes in support and six against him.
The race for the role of a Secretary General had an unexpected end, rejecting all the pre-decision notions such as bringing a head from any of the eastern-European countries or to have a lady leader.
Russia, one of the permanent members of the SC, was in support of electing an eastern European, which is the world’s only region to have not had a secretary-general in history. On the other hand, the United Stated was apparently in a bid to bring a woman head. There were under-blanket talks earlier that Germany’s Angela Merkel would become the next head of UN.
Of the 13 initial candidates, six were women, and one more joined the race towards
There are now over 65 million refugees all over the world and anti-refugee sentiment is growing in many countries. Choosing a former head of UNHCR is, apparently, both a way for the global body to acknowledge the crisis and its key role in international politics, and to strengthen the UN’s effort in tackling the situation.
The security council’s nomination will pass to the General Assembly, which makes the actual appointment.