Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was a ?clear favorite? among all 13 candidates competing to be the next United Nations Secretary-General, according to the UN Security Council on October 5. Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, president of the Security Council for October, said Guterres was leading in the six rounds of informal ?straw polls.? A formal vote, which was expected to pass by acclamation, could confirm the results at 10 am Thursday. Guterres, UN?s High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005-2015, would succeed Ban Ki-moon in January 2017. Credit: YouTube/UN News Centre
KEVIN Rudd’s deep desire to be head of the United Nations may have been snuffed out, but the former Australian prime minister’s disappointment did not stop him offering congratulations to the successful candidate.
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday endorsed former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres as the next secretary-general.
Mr Rudd posted the following message on Twitter this morning:
Deepest congratulations to Antonio Guterres on election as UN SG.A tribute to him. Portugal.A great responsibility now for a troubled world pic.twitter.com/NmYFawYOi6
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) October 5, 2016
He followed it up with a second Tweet, saying: “Congrats as well to the other 9 candidates for UNSG. Especially Helen Clark who ran a strong campaign. @lykketoft Pres. of General Assembly.”
It was an admirable display of sportsmanship from Mr Rudd, who last month hit out at Malcolm Turnbull’s “concocted excuse” for why he wasn’t given Australia’s backing for the top United Nations job.
Rudd’s comments did not endear him to senior Liberal MPs, who told him to quit his “whining” and “just shut up”.
New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark failed to generate enough support in six secret straw polls held by the 15-member Security Council in recent months.
In Wednesday’s final poll Miss Clark finished in fifth place with six “encourage” votes, eight “discourage” and one “no opinion”.
In fatal strikes for her campaign, three of her “discourage” votes were from undisclosed veto-wielding permanent Security Council members. The permanent members are the US, Russia, China, France and Great Britain.
Mr Guterres, the 66-year-old head of the UN’s refugee agency, easily topped the poll again with 13 “encourage”, no “discourage” and two “no opinion” votes. Key to Mr Guterres’ success was the fact that not one permanent member gave him a “discourage” vote.
As well as intense lobbying for a female victor, countries, including Russia, were publicly pushing for an eastern European to hold the UN’s top job for the first time.
It appeared late entrant Kristalina Georgieva, Bulgaria’s European budget commissioner and a former World Bank vice president, would fit the bill, but she finished equal seventh and recorded eight discourage votes.
It was revealed on the weekend Mr Rudd had flirted with still running following the endorsement of another, unnamed country.
Mr Rudd had joked in April about the likelihood of an eastern European being successful when he said he would have a better shot if his surname was “Ruddovich”.
Miss Clark’s failed campaign is a blow to New Zealand, who peddled increased influence as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during the campaign. The Security Council needs to adopt a resolution behind closed doors before Mr Guterres is formally recommended to the 193-member General Assembly for election.
Ban Ki-moon, of South Korea, will step down as secretary-general at the end of the year.