There is a Key Vote Happening Today to Decide the Next UN Secretary General

Ed note. I’ll update this post once the results are in. 

UPDATE: It’s in. Antonio Guterres, the former head of the UN Refugee Agency and former Prime Minister of Portugal will be the 9th UN Secretary General.

The Security Council today held its sixth straw poll to indicate the 15 member body’s preferences for who should replace Ban Ki Moon when his term expires at the end of the year. Unlike the previous five straw polls, which have been conducted since August, this poll is significant in two important ways

First, this is the first time that Kristalina Georgieva is on the ballot. She is a Bulgarian official at the European Union who entered the race last week, seeing an opening after her fellow Bulgarian, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova, faired poorly in the previous straw polls. Georgieva is well respected public official, who previously served as the EU’s humanitarian chief. She is a known entity around the United Nations and on the international circuit. Her late entry may profoundly shake up the race.

Second, this is the first time that the preferences of the veto wielding permanent five members of the Security Council will be distinguished from the preferences of the 10 rotating members of the council. The p5 get special color coded ballots, so we know the extent of the opposition to any individual candidate by countries that can veto their candidacy. Therefore, the best way to interpret these results is that the candidates with the fewest “discourage” votes on red colored ballots have the best chances of becoming the next UN Secretary General.

Here are the results of the previous polls.


straw poll results