Antonio Guterres, the former Portuguese prime minister and United Nations refugees chief, has been officially nominted to become the next UN Secretary General after a vote at the security council.

During a surprise show of unity on Wednesday, all 15 ambassadors from the security council emerged from a sixth straw poll to announce that they had agreed on Guterres, who was UN high commissioner for refugees for nearly a decade.

“Today after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favorite and his name is António Guterres,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, told a group of eager reporters with his 14 council colleagues standing alongside him.

Guterres, 67, would replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea, who will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms. For Guterres to be formally recommended to the 193-member General Assembly for election, the Security Council still needs to adopt a resolution behind closed doors. The resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes to pass… see more