A straw poll today at the U.N. Security Council indicates that South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon is all but assured of being elected Secretary General of the United Nations. 14 of 15 Security Council members rated Ban as "favorable" (one abstention), including all five veto-weilding members. A formal vote of the Security Council will be held next Monday, and the winner will be submitted to the General Asembly for a vote. Second-place finisher Shashi Tharoor of India said, "It is clear that he will be our next secretary general. I wish Mr. Ban every success in that task. I will strongly support him." I am not in a position to comment on Mr. Ban's political views at this time because I know very little about him. For more info on the U.N.'s next leader, click Ban's name under his picture.
Ban bested a field of five other candidates:
Shashi Tharoor, the U.N.'s Undersecretary General for Communications
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia
Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand before last week's coup.
Prince Zeid al-Hussein, Jordan's ambassador to the U.N.
Ashraf Ghani, former finance minister of Afghanistan
Kofi Annan's term as Secretary General expires at the end of December.