Sushma congratulates ex-Portuguese PM for winning poll for top UN post

Sushma congratulates ex-Portuguese PM for winning poll for top UN post

New Delhi /United Nations Oct 6 (IANS) External Affairs Sushma Swaraj Minister has congratulated former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, who has been unanimously selected in a straw poll by the UN Security Council as the next UN Secretary-General.

“EAM speaks to Mr. Antonio Guterres and congratulates him on emerging as the winner in the straw poll for post of @UN Secretary General,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted on Thursday.

Guterres, who will be formally selected for the post later Thursday, will take over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1, 2017.

Xinhua news agency quoted Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who is the council President for October, as saying that Guterres, who was former head of the UN refugee agency, has been chosen for the top job.

After about one-and-a-half hours of closed council consultation, Churkin made the announcement to reporters on Wednesday, with representatives of the 15 council members standing behind him outside the council chambers.

“Today after our sixth straw poll, we have a clear favourite and his name is Antonio Guterres, and we have decided to go for a formal vote tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) on Thursday and we hope that it can be done by acclamation,” he said. “This is what we’re looking at.”

“So tomorrow morning acclamation vote and we wish Mr. Guterres well in discharging his duties as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the next five years,” Churkin said.

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