Antonio Guterres: New UN Secretary General? | Diplomacy Opportunities

Antonio Guterres is on his way to be the next UN Secretary General. After six straw polls, the Security Council has unified around his candidacy and a formal vote will be taken  to seal his appointment as Ban Ki Moon’s successor.

Guterres is a former Prime Minister of Portugal. He lead the UN Refugee Agency from from 2005 to 2015 and earned high marks in that role for being both a capable steward of a large UN agency and for his outspoken advocacy on behalf the world’s most vulnerable people.

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Guterres’s margin of victory was decisive. On results of the votes, Guterres won 13 votes in his support and two abstentions, with no one voting against him. The second-place candidate, the Slovak Miroslav Lajčák, had seven votes in support and six against him – two of them vetoes from permanent council members.

The process was to some extent made open as candidates had to make debates in front of global audiences for then first as a result of pressure from civil societies under the 1for7billion campaign.

While Antonio Guterres so far has been the best candidate in the race, this comes as a blow to many who were hoping the UN may produce its first female secretary general.

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