Security Council Backs António Guterres to Be Next U.N. Secretary General

By Somini Sengupta — October 5, 2016

The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council reached a surprisingly swift consensus Wednesday on its choice for the next secretary general of the United Nations: António Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal.

Mr. Guterres, 67, who ran the United Nations refugee agency for 10 years,had been the clear front-runner for the last several months. That a deeply divided Security Council rallied around him was a clear signal that Russia and the West saw him as someone they could work with.

Thirteen candidates, including a record seven women, had vied for the job; two had dropped out.

“We have a clear favorite, and his name is António Guterres,” said Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, who is presiding over the Security Council this month.

Michael W. Doyle, a former United Nations official who is now a Columbia University professor, said that as the high commissioner for refugees, Mr. Guterres had demonstrated both charisma and an ability to maneuver. “In the agency, he was known as someone who could sit down and hammer out agreements under difficult circumstances,” he said. “Moscow has to understand that.”

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