The next United Nations Secretary-General is to be decided this October, but recent straw poll results show that the decision for the position is still very much up in the air.
Currently there are ten nominated candidates, including Srgjian Kerim (Macedonia), Danilo Türk (Slovenia), Irina Bokova (Bulgaria), Natalia Gherman (Republic of Moldova), António Guterres (Portugal), Helen Clark (New Zealand), Vuk Jeremić(Serbia), Susana Malcorra (Argentina), Miroslav Lajčák (Slovak Republic) andChristiana Figueres (Costa Rica). Two additional candidates, Vesna Pusić (Croatia) andIgor Lukšić (Montenegro) have already withdrawn. But another candidate, the European Commission’s Vice-President, Kristalina Georgieva (Bulgaria), may enter the race. There has been a push from many directions for a woman to occupy the role and it has been supported by the UN Presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, who wrote, “Convinced of the need to guarantee equal opportunities for women and men in gaining access to senior decision-making positions, Member States are encouraged to consider presenting women, as well as men, as candidates for the position” in a letter to the permanent representatives of the UN. Despite this suggestion, the most recent straw polls conducted at the beginning of September have placed Guterres, with experience as the former prime minister of Portugal and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the overall top contender.