Security Council holds first straw poll for next Secretary-General; President of the GA calls for more transparency

On 21 July, the Security Council held its first meeting to discuss candidates for the next UN Secretary-General. In a first round of “straw polls,” members of the Security Council indicated whether they “encourage,” “discourage” or have “no opinion” about each of the candidates.   

Click here to learn more about the straw polls.  

Notably, the Council chose not to share the results of its straw polls with all member states – a decision that has raised concern at UN headquarters. In a recent letter, the President of the General Assembly urged the Council to disclose the results of the straw polls in the spirit of transparency.  1 for 7 Billion has also pressed the Council for a “continued commitment to a transparent process”

António Guterres, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees and former Prime Minister of Portugal, has been widely reported in the press as the early frontrunner. He is followed closely by Danilo Türk, the former Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Natalia Gherman, Igor Lukšić, and Vesna Pusić are believed to have been the least successful this round.  

Using multiple government and media sources, we've compiled the results of last week's straw poll. Here’s how the candidates fared:

António Guterres (Portugal): 12 “encourage,” 0 “discourage,” 3 “no opinion”

Danilo Türk (Slovenia): 11 “encourage,” 2 “discourage,” 2 “no opinion” 

Irina Bokova (Bulgaria): 9 “encourage,” 4 “discourage,” 2 “no opinion”

Vuk Jeremić (Serbia): 9 “encourage,” 5 “discourage,” 1 “no opinion” 

Srgjan Kerim (Macedonia): 9 “encourage,” 5 “discourage,” 1 “no opinion” 

Helen Clark (New Zealand): 8 “encourage,” 5 “discourage,” 2 “no opinion”

Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak Republic):  7 "encourage," 3 "discourage," 5 "no opinion"

Susana Malcorra (Argentina): 7 “encourage,” 4 “discourage,” 4 “no opinion” 

Christiana Figueres (Costa Rica): 5 “encourage,” 5 “discourage,” 5 “no opinion” 

Natalia Gherman (Moldova):  4 “encourage,” 4 “discourage,” 7 “no opinion”

Igor Lukšić (Montenegro): 3 “encourage,” 7 “discourage,” 5 “no opinion” 

Vesna Pusić (Croatia): 2 “encourage,” 11 “discourage,” 2 “no opinion” 

For more on the straw poll results, see articles in the Associated Press, Foreign Policy, and IB Times UK. To learn more about the qualifications of each of the candidates, visit our candidates page.  

While no dates have been announced for future straw polls, the Council will likely hold several rounds in the coming months. The Associated Press reports that a second round may take place as soon as this week.