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UN confirms former PM Guterres as new secretary-general

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres (file photo)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres (file photo)

The Security Council of the United Nations on Thursday chose unanimously and by acclamation António Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, as the UN’s new secretary-general to succeed the incumbent, Ban Ki-moon, from the beginning of next year.

It is now up to the General Assembly, in which all UN members are represented, to confirm the choice.

“The Security Council recommends to the General ASsembly that Mr. António Guterres is designated as secretary-general of the United Nations, between 1 January of 2017 and 31 December of 2021,” the recommendation of the council stated.

The decision was announced to journalists by Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who this month took over the rotating presidency of the council.

Portuguese officials have welcomed the choice as an honour for the country and a triumph for Portuguese diplomacy.

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2001 and subsequently president of the Socialist International. He was UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to the end of last year.

Portugal News

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