NEW YORK — Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is the ninth United Nations Secretary General, reports Reuters. Guterres was also the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.
Guterres, 67, would replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea, who will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms.
Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He is currently a non executive trustee of Galouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
“In the end, there was just a candidate whose experience, vision, and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters. “If we have these transnational threats and we don’t have somebody at the helm of the United Nations that can mobilize coalitions, that can make the tools of this institution … work better for people, that’s going to be more pain and more suffering and more dysfunction than we can afford,” she said.
Diplomats said one of the no opinion votes was cast by one of the five veto wielding powers, which are Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain. The Security Council will adopt a resolution, traditionally behind closed doors, recommending that the General Assembly appoint Guterres for a five-year term from January 1, 2017.