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UNITED NATIONS, July 20. /TASS/. The name of the next UN Secretary General who will begin his tenure on January 1, 2017, may be known in October, during Russia’s presidency of the UN Security Council, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin told TASS on Tuesday ahead of the first preliminary vote on the list of the candidates for the next UN Secretary General due to take place on July 21.
"There are quite a few reasons why October is the optimal time for deciding on the candidacy of the future UN secretary general," he said. "Indeed, Russia will be holding the Security Council presidency, but this is of no particular importance. The Security Council president plays a technical role in the process of determining recommendations to the General Assembly by the Security Council and has no levers of influence on the vote results."
When asked whether Russia has made a decision on who it will support on July 21 and during the campaign in general, the diplomat said that "there are candidates that we believe are stronger than others."
The position of the UN secretary general held by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon since 2007 will become vacant on January 1. According to the UN Charter, the organization’s head is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendations of its Security Council.
At the moment, there are 12 candidates for this position: UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova (Bulgaria), UN Development Program Administrator Helen Clark (New Zealand), Argentina’s Foreign Minister Susanna Malcorra, Slovakia’s top diplomat Miroslav Lajcak, Montenegro’s Foreign Minister Igor Luksic, former President of Slovenia Danilo Turk, former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres, former Foreign Minister of Macedonia Srgjan Kerim, former Foreign Minister of Moldova Natalia Gherman, former Foreign Minister of Serbia Vuk Jeremic, former Foreign Minister of Croatia Vesna Pusic and Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres who served as the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change until June 6.