On July 21 the UN Security Council conducted the first straw poll of candidates aspiring to be the ninth secretary-general of the organization. UN-watchers hoping that the organization would select its first female Secretary-General will be disappointed with the July 21 results. Only one among the top five candidates (Irina Bokova) was a woman. The top vote-getter was Antonio Guterres, followed by Danilo Turk, Bokova and Vuk Jeremic.
Although the straw poll was conducted in camera, the outcome was soon widely known, leading to a Wikipedia summary of the voting. Candidates received votes indicating that their candidacy should be “encouraged” “discouraged” or “no opinion.” For this first straw poll all 15 Council members used the same coloured paper, signifying that the votes of the Permanent Members counted equally with elected members. Additional straw polls are expected after the August break at the UN, where the Council’s permanent members will use a different coloured paper. A “discourage” vote from a permanent member would signify that one of the P5 is likely to veto that individual’s candidacy. Final balloting is expected in October, when Russia is the Council President. Background on the candidates is available at the 1 for 7 Billion campaign.