The Security Council’s decision to recommend a candidate to the General Assembly is a matter of substance which, under Article 27(3), requires “an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.” This means that one of the permanent members may veto the recommendation otherwise passed by the Security Council and block the candidate. The permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States and as of February 2016, the rotating members are Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.
This article establishes the Secretary-General role as the chief administrative officer of the United Nations, and lays out a two-step process allowing for such appointment: “The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Organization may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. He shall be the chief administrative officer of the Organization.” The United Nations Charter does not set a limit on the length and number of terms a Secretary-General may serve, although so far, none have held office for more than two five-year terms.