International desk – United Nations is set to get a new Secretary General as the tenure of Ban Ki-moon as head of the UN will expire on December 31.
Antonio Guterres, the former head of UN refugee agency, survived a secret Security Council vote Wednesday to be the next UN Secretary General, diplomats say.
“Today, after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favorite and his name is Antonio Guterres,” Russia’s Ambassador to UN Vitaly Churkin told reporters after the vote.
“We have decided to go to a formal vote, and we hope it can be done by acclamation,” he said.
Guterres lead in the last five polls which began in July.
As the Security Council prepares for the vote Thursday to recommend a candidate for endorsement by the 193-seat General Assembly, the votes of the permanent five — China, France, Russia, U.K., and the U.S. — will be decisive.
The votes are marked as encourage, discourage and no opinion, and color-coding will ensure ballots by permanent Security Council members have more bearing than non-permanent members vote.
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres is a Portuguese politician who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He also served for a time as President of the Socialist International.
The 67-year old politician was born in Portugal on April 30, 1949.