Guter­res leads race to be UN chief

The Myanmar Times - - World -

POR­TU­GAL’S for­rmer prime min­is­ter An­to­nio Guter­res is still the fron­trun­ner to be­come the next sec­re­tary gen­eral of the United Na­tions fol­low­ing a third straw poll, diplo­mats said.

Mr Guter­res, who served as UN refugee chief for 10 years, re­ceived 11 votes of en­cour­age­ment, three “dis­cour­age” votes and one “no opin­ion” dur­ing the in­for­mal vote by the 15-mem­ber Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

It is the third time that the 67-yearold has taken the num­ber one spot in the con­test to suc­ceed Ban Ki-moon, who steps down on De­cem­ber 31 af­ter 10 years as the world’s top diplo­mat.

Dur­ing the first round, Mr Guter­res took the lead with 12 “en­cour­age” votes and three “no opin­ion”, but he picked up two “dis­cour­age” votes in the sec­ond straw poll, along with 11 en­cour­age­ments and two “no opin­ion”.

While Mr Guter­res’s rank­ing dropped slightly in the third straw poll, diplo­mats said he still held a strong lead in the race to take the helm of the world body.

Slo­vak For­eign Min­is­ter Miroslav La­j­cak made a sur­prise show­ing as the run­ner-up, climb­ing up the rank­ings with nine en­cour­age­ments, five dis­cour­age votes and one “no opin­ion”. He took the sixth po­si­tion in the last round.

The 15 am­bas­sadors in­clud­ing those from the pow­er­ful five – Bri­tain, China, France, Rus­sia and the United States – met be­hind closed doors to rate the can­di­dates with bal­lots marked “en­cour­age,” “dis­cour­age” or “no opin­ion”.

The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is try­ing to come up with a short­list of can­di­dates be­fore putting for­ward a nom­i­nee, pos­si­bly in Oc­to­ber, to be en­dorsed by the Gen­eral Assem­bly.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova of Bul­garia and Ser­bia’s ex-for­eign min­is­ter Vuk Jeremic tied for the third spot, with seven en­cour­age­ments and five “dis­cour­age” votes, plus three “no opin­ion”.

Ms Bokova be­came the lead­ing woman in the race, just ahead of Ar­gentina’s Su­sanna Mal­corra, who picked up seven en­cour­age­ments, seven “dis­cour­age” votes and one “no opin­ion”.

Lower down the rank­ings, New Zealand’s ex-prime min­is­ter and cur­rent UN De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme chief He­len Clark took the num­ber­six spot, just be­low Mace­do­nia’s ex-for­eign min­is­ter Srg­jan Kerim.

Slove­nia’s former pres­i­dent Danilo

Turk, who had made a strong show­ing as the run­ner-up in the first round, dropped to the bot­tom tier.

The last spots went to former UN cli­mate ne­go­tia­tor Chris­tiana Figueres and ex-for­eign min­is­ter Natalia Gher­man of Moldova.

Coun­cil mem­bers are fac­ing calls to pick the first woman af­ter eight men in the job, and to give pref­er­ence to a can­di­date from east­ern Europe, the only re­gion that has yet to be rep­re­sented in the post.

Of the 10 can­di­dates now still in the run­ning, six are from east­ern Europe. Five are women. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.