UN confirms Guterres as next Secretary-General

Newly-appointed UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in handshake with outgoing UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon.

The United Nations has formally appointed former Portugal Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres as Secretary-General on Thursday.

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 UN refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.

He said during his campaign that he was running for the top UN 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. 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.un-new-boss-3un-new-boss-2

Guterres was one of 13 candidates who were in the running for the UN’s top job.

Meanwhile, US Democratic President Candidate, Hillary Clinton has congratulated the newly-appointed UN Secretary General.

In a tweet Mrs Clinton was quoted as saying, “I will like to extend my warmest congratulation to Antonio Guterres on his appointment as the next Secretary-General of the United Nation. Throughout his career, Mr Guterres  has proven himself to be advocate for human rights and a champion for the most vulnerable. As UN High Commissioner for Refugee, he provided hope for millions of men, womwn and children, who have been forced to flee from their homes.”

“And he is a consensus-builder who can bring people together to advance common interest and address common challenges. I was heartened that Mr. Guterres indicated that gender equality will be a top priority when filling senior positions. I strongly support efforts that increase diversity in UN leadership. And if im elected President of the United States, I look forward to working with Mr. Guterres and all of our partners to help shape a more peaceful and prosperous future for every global citizen.”