Security Council holds secret poll on next UN chief

United Nations, July 22 (IANS) The UN Security Council held its first secret poll on candidates vying to become the next Secretary General but has made no announcement of the results.

After the secret ballot, Japan’s Ambassador Koro Bessho, also the Security Council president for July, told the media here on Thursday that “the candidates will be informed of the results through the respective permanent representatives of nominating member states.”

Under the UN Charter, the UN secretary-general shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. In practice, the Security Council, particularly its five permanent members, will make the final choice and send a single candidate to the General Assembly for approval.

Before the final decision comes out, several rounds of secret polls would be held among the 15 Security Council members.

So far, 12 candidates have been competing for the post of the next UN chief: half of them are women; eight are from the eastern European nations. Among them are former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, former Slovenian President Danilo Turk, UN cultural agency UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

In Thursday’s ballot, Security Council members have voted “encourage”, “discourage” or “no opinion expressed” for each one of them.

The second round of secret poll has not yet been scheduled.

The incumbent UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is going to conclude his term at the end of 2016.

–IANS

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