Security Council agrees on Portugal's Guterres next UN chief

"We have a clear favourite and his nae is Antonio Guterres", Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin says.

The secretary-general of the United Nations is appointed in a two-stage process. A UNSC vote is expected Thursday; the candidacy then goes to the General Assembly for final approval.

Last month, Malcorra expressed exasperation at a dinner in NY for female foreign ministers with what she saw as a process rigged to deny women a shot at the top job. Georgieva received five votes for and eight against, including two from veto-wielding countries.

The 67-year-old Guterres received 13 votes in favor, with two abstentions, on Wednesday, diplomatic sources said.

Helen Clark ended up fifth overall, with six "encourage" votes. Guterres will take over from Ban Ki-moon, whose second term in office ends this year.

Throughout the campaign, there had been calls for the council to choose the first woman secretary-general and to pick a candidate from eastern Europe, the only region that has not been represented in the top job. He is credited with cutting costs at the agency during his tenure, as well as lifting its performance as it grappled with the migrant crisis. He has two children by his first wife. The most vulnerable, such as women and children, are an absolute priority. "We are united in understanding the gravity of the threats that are out there", said Power.

Danon wished Guterres luck in his new position and said that "the State of Israel hopes, and expects, that the United Nations under his leadership will act in the spirit of its founding principles as a fair body able to differentiate between good and evil and will end its obsession with Israel". "The global community spends much more time and resources managing crises than preventing them".

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"It's hard to lift your head when you only get bad news one after the other", said Manuel Fonseca, 62. "I don't know if it has ever been done this way in the history of the United Nations before".

It included all five permanent UNSC powers (Russia, US, UK, China and France) as well as 10 non-permanent members.

"Equal parts diplomat and advocate, civil servant and CEO, the Secretary-General is a symbol of United Nations ideals and a spokesman for the interests of the world's peoples, in particular the poor and vulnerable among them", the UN states on its website.

"It was definitely worth the shot, it was definitely worth it for her I think".

The U.N. Director at Human Rights Watch, Louis Charbonneau, said: "Ultimately, the next U.N. secretary-general will be judged on his ability to stand up to the very powers that just selected him, whether on Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, the refugee crisis, climate change or any other problem that comes his way".

Guterres has always been the frontrunner in the race. Serbia's former foreign minister Vuk Jeremic had the same result but three "discourage" votes from permanent members.

  • Sonia Alvarado