The General Assembly today elected the former prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Guterres, as the next United Nations Secretary-General, to succeed Ban Ki-moon when he steps down on 31 December.
Guterres, 67, was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He will become the world's top diplomat on 1 January 2017, and hold that post for the next five years.
Adopting a consensus resolution put forward by its President Peter Thomson, the assembly acted on the recommendation on the UN Security Council, which on 6 October forwarded Guterres' name to the 193-member body as its nominee for UN Secretary-General.
Ban Ki-Moon said on the occasion, "Secretary-General-elect Guterres is well known to all of us in the hall. But he is perhaps best known where it counts most: on the frontlines of armed conflict and humanitarian suffering. He is a wonderful choice to steer this organisation."
Also, this was the first time that the selection of a new United Nations Secretary-General, traditionally decided behind closed-doors by a few powerful countries, has involved public discussions with each candidate campaigning for the post.
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