ON the evening of October 4, it appeared that whilst the majority of members of the UN Security Council were in favour of appointing former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the next secretary general of the United Nations there was at least one member, thought to be Russia which was opposed.
When consideration was first given to a replacement for current secretary general Ban Ki-moon who has served in the role for 10 years, so called ‘smart money’ was on the selection of a female from Eastern Europe but the current head of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) suddenly stormed to the front.
On October 5 however in a pre-election secret ballot votes were cast for the 10 candidates to see if there was a front runner and the votes were on the basis of encourage, discourage or no opinion. After the count, the Russian Ambassador to the UN announced that Mr Guterres was clear favourite as he received 13 encourage votes and two no opinion votes.
The formal vote will take place on October 6, but it would appear that the decision will now be firmly in favour of the Portuguese candidate.