Antonio Guterres appointed UN Secretary-General!Top Stories

October 14, 2016 10:22
Antonio Guterres appointed UN Secretary-General!

The General Assembly appointed Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The 193 member states of the General Assembly adopted the resolution by acclamation, appointing 67-year-old Mr. Guterres as the ninth U.N. Secretary-General to take over from Ban Ki-moon, whose tenure will end on December 31, 2016.

Mr. Ban, however, described his successor as “a superb choice” for the position of Secretary-General, noting that the two had worked closely during Mr. Guterres’ “long and outstanding tenure” as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Ban said referring to Mr. Guterres’ time as head of the U.N. refugee agency, that, “Secretary-General-elect Guterres is well known to all of us in the hall. But he is perhaps best known where it counts most: on the frontlines of armed conflict and humanitarian suffering.”

“His past experience as Prime Minister of Portugal, his wide knowledge of world affairs and his lively intellect will serve him well in leading the United Nations in a crucial period,” he had said.

Speaking in Lisbon shortly after his selection last week, Mr. Guterres had expressed “gratitude and humility” and had vowed to “serve” those most vulnerable, including victims of conflict, terrorism, violation of rights and poverty.

Mr. Guterres, who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, will assume his new role on January 1, 2017 for a five-year term that can be renewed by member states for an additional five years.

Mr. Guterres had emerged as the frontrunner in all the six informal polls conducted in the Security Council to select the Secretary-General amid a heightened call by several U.N. member states and civil society organizations to elect a woman chief for the world body, which has had a man at its helm for all the 71 years of its existence.

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