UN Set to Appoint New Secretary-General
The United Nations is expected to appoint former Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as Secretary-General Thursday.
U.N. General Assembly President Peter Thompson said in a statement he hopes the 193-member body will unanimously approve Guterres’s nomination after the Security Council recommended the former prime minister last week.
Should Guterres be confirmed, he will replace current Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon of South Korea at the end of 2016. Ban has held the post since being appointed in 2006.
Guterres, 67, was Portugal’s prime minister from 1992 to 2002. He led the U.N. refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.
He told VOA in an interview during his campaign that he was running for the top U.N. job because he wanted to “create the conditions for solutions” to global challenges.
Members of the United Nations widely praised the nomination of Guterres, with Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin calling him “a great choice.”
“He’s a high level politician. He’s been prime minister of his country. He is a person who talks to everybody, listens to everybody, speaks his mind; very outgoing, I think open person,” Churkin said of Guterres after his initial nomination.
Ban also called Guterres a “superb choice” for secretary-general.
Guterres was one of 13 candidates who were in the running for the U.N.’s top job.