Second straw poll for the New UN Secretary General

So since the first poll Vesna Pusić has withdrawn as a candidate for Secretary General which leaves 11 and Kevin Rudd the former Prime Minister of Australia was NOT supported by his government to join the election. There are still rumors of a late addition by Alicia Barcena (Mexico) Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean who would be an excellent candidate but I think will not join the fray.

Those who have read my blogs on the election will know I have supported both woman and regional rotation which would mean an Eastern European woman candidate. 

So let’s look at where we are.

After the second straw poll António Guterres (Portugal) the former Portuguese left of center Prime Minister is still in first place but has picked up one less encourage and for the first time two discourage. The question in many people’s minds are those two P5 members such as China and Russia. There is no question in my mind that Mr. Guterres is very well qualified for the post but doesn’t fit the two criteria I believe are important in this year’s election.

Vuk Jeremic moved up to second place he was the Serbian foreign minister 2007-12 and president of the UN General Assembly from 2012-13. Questions have been raised among NGOs for using his diplomatic muscle to fight recognition of Kosovo, whose independence he rejects and which he has referred to as Serbia's "Jerusalem."

These would need to be answered for the US, France and the UK to not veto him. His manifesto is very good and well worth a read. He is from the Eastern Block but clearly not a woman.

Jumping up from fifth into third is Susana Malcorra the Argentina Foreign Minister and former chief of staff for Ban Ki-moon from 2008-12. She clearly knows the UN and what needs to be undertaken well having been at the center of it for five years. This though may in the end have countries seeing this as a third term for the policies of Ban Ki-moon and they will have an opinion on that. She will have to persuade the UK that they shouldn’t deliver their veto because of the worry about the Falklands and having an Argentina Secretary General. It would be an interesting double of having the sitting Pope and the sitting UN Secretary General coming from the same country. She is now the highest woman but not from Eastern Euopre.

In fourth position is Danilo Türk (Slovenia), dropping from second and collecting 3 more discourage in the straw poll compared to the first one (now 5) served as the President of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. Türk was the first Slovene ambassador to the United Nations, from 1992 to 2000, and was the UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs from 2000 to 2005. He is the next highest Eastern European and possibly the nest placed if it is NOT to be a woman from the region.

The soft favorite from Eastern Europe  and top woman from the region has dropped from third to fifth and picked up two less encourage and gained three discourage. This must be very worrying for Irina Bokova.

In sixth place is Srgjan Kerim  Macedonian , former Foreign Minister and President of the 62nd Session[1] of the United Nations General Assembly
Helen Clarke has dropped down to 7th and in doing so lost two supporters and gained three discourage. Difficult to see a path to the UN Secretary General for Helen.

The late entry of Christiana Figueres has impacted on her campaign as countries are still getting used to her as a candidate. The second round voting has her moving up one (8th) but not yet gaining new supporters and so far moving 3 no opinion into discourage. I still think that she is possibly best placed if the regional rotation doesn’t continue to move up the field in the next few straw polls. She has no great negatives on why countries might not support her other than perhaps being seen as not yet known for her views on peace and security. This will be for her to expand before the next vote.

Natalia Gherman, Miroslav Lajčák and finally Igor Lukšić will need to consider if they should stay in the race.

Straw poll 5th of August
Candidate: (encourage/discourage/no opinion)

No color no change, yellow better position than the first straw poll, orange worse than the first straw poll 

Guterres: 11,2,2
Jeremic: 8,4,3
Malcorra: 8,6,1
Turk: 7,5,3
Bokova: 7,7,1
Kerim: 6,7,2
Clark: 6,8,1
Figueres: 5,8,2
Gherman: 3,10,2
Lajcak: 2,6,7

Luksic: 2,9,4


  1. Some years ago, Mr Guterres showed interest in a scheme linking climate action with poverty elimination, but then suddenly dropped the idea. I was disappointed because unless there is a UN Climate Action Program to restore reflectivity and shading, and properly pay the poorest people to do most of the work, there is no chance of preventing further temperature rises because loss of reflectivity already accounts for about half warming and, unless mitigated separately, will account for a lot more of it. Also, there is little chance of immediately eliminating poverty because, with exception of that idea, there is insufficient incentive to organize and pay for it.

    Following on, and last year, the idea of transforming long term refugee camps into eco enclaves and using the human waste to regenerate the soil in their hinterlands and then plant trees and shrubs, was also ignored.

    The idea of paying for would be refugees to stay in protected eco enclaves in their own countries or in adjacent countries was also ignored.

    It is as if the people in charge of the UN departments are not capable of creating strategies, and are incapable of recognising them when they arise for consideration.

    Ms Figueres has not solved the climate problem during her tenure at the UNFCCC most probably because she was advised by establishment scientists who cannot grasp secondary causality, and also because the UN has never run a jumble sale.

    People who run jumble sales know it is essential to advertise the sale in as simple language as possible, and as wide an area as possible, because that way more people join in.

    Extraordinarily, the UN does not use the media outlets of banks and post offices worldwide for advertisement, and calls its departments and projects by letters, most people do not understand. REDD is another example.

    Equally alarming is the fact that non-affiliated inventors are barred from submitting inventions to the UNFCCC technology arm - UNEPCTCN.

    So much for preventing glacial lake outbursts and coral reef bleaching or for establishing next generation electricity transmission pylons functioning as climate action hubs.

    So we hope that the next secretary general is a scientific humanist rather than a lawyer politician, and one who has not already been shown to be lacking in public office.We need someone who is capable of encouraging everyone to contribute to what will be the greatest internationally cooperative event ever, preventing further climate change extremes. Further details of the proposed UN program from


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