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10/14/2016

Guterres appointed as new UN secretary-general

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres

 

The UN General Assembly has officially approved former Portugese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres to take over for Ban Ki-moon as the next UN Secretary-General at the start of next year.

 

The 193-member General Assembly adopted a resolution on the appointment, by acclamation, Thursday morning.

 

Antonio Guterres says he feels gratitude and humility, adding he is fully aware of the challenges the UN faces and the limitations surrounding the top job of the world body.

 

"I will be doing my best during these two-and-a-half months to prepare myself in order to be able to – recognizing the difficulties, the problems, the divisions – but to act as a convener, an honest broker, someone trying to bring people together and make people understand that whatever division might exist, now it's more important to unite, because the risks for those countries, for the suffering of those peoples, but the risks for the international community, and for our collective security as such, that it's high time to fight for peace."

 

Outgoing UN chief Ban Ki-moon says Guterres brings "deep and solid political experience."

 

"But he is perhaps best known where it counts: the most frontline of armed conflicts and humanitarian sufferings. For the past decade, the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian actors has been a lifeline for millions upon millions of people forced from their homes. His political instincts are those of the United Nations - cooperation for the common goods and shared responsibility for people and the planet."

 

Guterres was nominated for the top job by the UN Security Council last week, receiving unanimous support.

 

The Council has been holding informal closed-door ballots since July in a bid to reach consensus on a candidate.

 

This year's race included several rounds of open auditions and debates, which were introduced into the process to make it more inclusive and transparent.

 

Guterres served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

 

Before that, he was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

 

Current UN chief Ban Ki-moon will retire at the end of this year after serving out a two-term mandate.



    Editor:Albert | Source: CRI


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