Members of the United Nations Security Council today adopted by acclamation the recommendation of former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres to become the next UN Secretary-General.
Mr Guterres, 67, will succeed the current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in January 2017.
The Secretary-General of the UN is the head of the United Nations Secretariat, one of the principal organs of the UN, and serves as the organisation’s top diplomat and chief “administrative officer”. The post lasts for five years but is limited to a maximum of two terms.
António Guterres became the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in 2005, a position he held for the next ten years. In this position, Guterres persistently appealed to the conscience of the international community over the worst refugee crisis since the second world war, and he vowed to carry on being a spokesman for the downtrodden if he became UN Secretary-General.
In the final ballot on Wednesday, 13 members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of Mr Guterres while two members abstained. All of the five permanent members of the Security Council, including Russia, China, the United Kingdom, the United States and France, voted in favour of Guterres. The highest-placed woman candidate, the head of Unesco, Irina Bokova, finished fourth.
After a recommendation of the UN Security Council, the General Assembly will officially appoint the Secretary-General. The UN General Assembly is expected to meet next week to approve Guterres’ appointment.