Former Portuguese PM Guterres selected to be next UN chief

United Nations, Oct 5 (IANS) Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was unanimously selected on Wednesday by the UN Security Council as the next UN Secretary-General, succeeding Ban Ki-moon on January 1, 2017.

Xinhua news agency quoted Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who is the council President for October, as saying that Guterres, who was former head of the UN refugee agency, has been chosen for the top job.

After about one and a half hours of closed council consultation, Churkin made the announcement to reporters, with representatives of the 15 council members standing behind him outside the council chambers.

“Today after our sixth straw poll, we have a clear favourite and his name is Antonio Guterres, and we have decided to go for a formal vote tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) on Thursday and we hope that it can be done by acclamation,” he said. “This is what we’re looking at.”

“So tomorrow morning acclamation vote and we wish Mr. Guterres well in discharging his duties as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the next five years,” Churkin said.