Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The United Nations is set to hold a formal vote Thursday to elect Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as its next secretary-general.
The Security Council agreed unanimously on Wednesday that Guterres should be the next secretary-general, all but solidifying his selection among the 193-member General Assembly.
For the past 10 years, Guterres has served as the high-commissioner for refugees at the U.N., a major leadership role that, coupled with the current global refugee crisis, likely played a critical role in his selection.
The U.N. Wednesday tweeted video of the Security Council making its announcement this morning following a closed-door session at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York City.
NEWS; Portugal’s António Guterres emerges as favourite for next UN Secretary-General.
Next step: formal Security Council vote on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/MZ8vGvS1s5
— United Nations (@UN) October 5, 2016
More than 50 nations campaigned with hopes for female leadership, which the U.N. has never had, but ultimately failed in that effort. Many of the other 13 candidates were representatives from Eastern Europe who, including Russia, felt their shot at leadership had been skipped over.
Before serving at the U.N., Guterres rose to the head of Socialist Party in Portugal and became the nation’s prime minister in 1995.
“I think the breakthrough was the performance and the experience of the candidate,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said today. “In the end, there was just a candidate whose experience, vision and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling and it was remarkably uncontentious, uncontroversial.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.