António Guterres emerges as "clear favourite" for top UN job

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Members of the UN Security Council. (Screen grab from UNTV)

The former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the "clear favourite" for the UN's top job, the President of the UN Security Council said on Wednesday.

Russia's ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters at UN Headquarters that Mr Guterres was the consensus candidate to become Secretary-General.

A formal vote of the 15-member Council will take place on Thursday.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr Guterres served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 until last year and he was one of 13 candidates, seven women and six men, vying to lead the organization.

Here's how Ambassador Churkin broke the news to reporters, following a Security Council meeting behind closed doors.

"We'd like to express our gratitude to all of those who participated in this campaign, but today, after our six straw polls, we have a clear favourite, and his name is António Guterres. And we have decided to go for a formal vote tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock, and we hope it can be done by acclamation. This is what we are looking at."

If the Council selects Mr Guterres, his name will move forward to the UN General Assembly which could decide to put his name to a vote.

All of the candidates to lead the UN faced unprecedented informal briefings in the General Assembly this year, in a bid by the President of the world body to make the selection process more transparent.

The new Secretary-General will start work in January.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01″

Read more:

António Guterres, candidate for UN top job, calls for “surge in diplomacy for peace”

Full statement to media by Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, President of the UN Security Council for October Listen /
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