Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark's run for the UN's top job appears to be over with the Security Council unanimously agreeing that Portugal's former prime minister Antonio Guterres should be the next UN secretary-general.
Russias's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the announcement to reporters today surrounded by ambassadors from the 14 other council nations after they held their sixth informal poll of the 10 candidates behind closed doors.
Mr Guterres, who served as the UN's refugee chief until last December, led all five previous polls.
Diplomats said in the sixth poll, where the five veto-wielding council members used different coloured ballots, he received 13 "encourage" votes, no "discourage" votes and two "no opinion."
Ms Clark recieved six "encourage" votes, eight "discourage" votes and one "no opinion".
In a tweet, Ms Clark congratulated Mr Guterres, calling him a "clear winner".
In a statement this morning, Ms Clark thanked the New Zealand Government alongside the New Zealand public for their "full support" throughout her campaign.
"To all who supported my campaign, I thank you for your confidence in me and your many messages of support and encouragement."
Mr Churkin said that the council will meet tomorrow to formally approve Mr Guterres and recommended his candidacy to the 193-member General Assembly which must give final approval.