UN votes on Annan successor

UN votes on Annan successor

United Nations – The UN security council held its first secret straw poll on Monday on four Asian candidates vying to succeed Secretary-General Kofi Annan, diplomatic sources said.

All four candidates are Asian, due to an unwritten rule that the United Nations’ leadership alternates between continents, and it was Asia’s turn after the Ghanaian Annan’s second five-year term expires at the end of the year. The four are South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-Moon, Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala, Thailand’s deputy prime minister Surakiart Sathirathai, and India’s Shashi Tharoor, a UN undersecretary in charge of communications.The 15 members of the UN security council were presented with three choices in the secret poll: encourage, discourage, and no opinion.But no official announcement will be made on the results of the first straw poll, diplomats said.The voting process is expected to take several rounds and could possibly stretch out until September or October, if not longer.Under UN charter rules, the secretary-general is elected by the 192-member general assembly under recommendation from the security council, whose five permanent members – the United States, China, France, Britain and Russia – have veto power.In practice, the five permanent members have dominated the secretary general succession process.The diplomat said the four candidates and their nation’s UN ambassadors will be notified of the straw poll’s results.Nampa-SapaThe four are South Korean foreign minister Ban Ki-Moon, Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala, Thailand’s deputy prime minister Surakiart Sathirathai, and India’s Shashi Tharoor, a UN undersecretary in charge of communications.The 15 members of the UN security council were presented with three choices in the secret poll: encourage, discourage, and no opinion.But no official announcement will be made on the results of the first straw poll, diplomats said.The voting process is expected to take several rounds and could possibly stretch out until September or October, if not longer.Under UN charter rules, the secretary-general is elected by the 192-member general assembly under recommendation from the security council, whose five permanent members – the United States, China, France, Britain and Russia – have veto power.In practice, the five permanent members have dominated the secretary general succession process.The diplomat said the four candidates and their nation’s UN ambassadors will be notified of the straw poll’s results.Nampa-Sapa

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