Security Council holds first secret poll on next UN chief selection

Updated: 2016-07-22 09:03


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UNITED NATIONS -- The UN Security Council on Thursday held its first straw poll on candidates vying to become the next UN secretary-general but made no announcement of the results.

After the secret balloting, Japan's Ambassador Koro Bessho, also the Security Council president for July, told reporters here 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 straw polls would be held among the 15 Security Council members. Bessho explained to reporters that the straw poll is "an indicative vote."

He said the poll is to inform the candidates of where they stand in the race and also inform the council members how the race might go on from here.

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 U.N. 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, etc.

In Thursday's balloting, Security Council members have voted "encourage," "discourage" or "no opinion expressed" for each one of them.

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