The Slovenia Times

Türk runner-up in first test vote on new UN secretary general


The former Slovenian president, who was assistant secretary general to Kofi Annan for political affairs in the 2000s, said this was an excellent result that made him very happy.

He argued that now "the path walked needed to be assessed and agreement reached among the highest representatives of our country on a reasonable and responsible course of international action in diplomacy".

"As a candidate I have done what needs to be done in presenting a quality bid, while now the state needs to show its commitment to this candidacy and argue for it when the opportunities are appropriate," Türk, who moreover served as Slovenia's ambassador to the UN in the 1990s, told the STA.

While the final decision on the new secretary general is not expected before October or November, this was the first vote by the 15 members of the council behind closed doors indicating whether they "encourage", "discourage" or have no opinion of a candidate.

A Slovenian diplomatic source told the STA that Türk had received 11 "encourage" votes, two "discourage" votes, while two members were without an opinion.

Guterres, the Portuguese candidate who served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015, reportedly got 12 "encourage" votes.

Also very happy with the result is Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who told the STA this was a "recognition of the quality of our candidacy and of our efforts".

The minister added the result proved Türk was a strong candidate and was a powerful encouragement for the future.

He repeated that it would be fair if the next UN secretary general would come from the Eastern-European region, since this is the only region that has not had a secretary general so far.


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