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Former Portugal PM Antonio Guterres formally appointed as Secretary-General of UN

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 13 October 2016, 20:37 IST

The United Nations General Assembly, on 13 October, formally appointed Portugal's former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the Secretary-General of the world body. He will replace Ban Ki-moon.

The 15-nation Security Council had last week in a closed-door session decided by acclamation to send Guterres's name to the 193-member General Assembly for final approval.

The date for the appointment of the Secretary-General was set by Assembly President Peter Thomson.

Thomson will also convene an informal meeting next week with Guterres, where all Member States and groups will address the session.

Guterres 67, will succeed Ban as the ninth Secretary General when Ban's tenure ends on December 31. Guterres term as the world's top diplomat will be from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2022.

He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and then had served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

Speaking in Lisbon shortly after his selection last week, Guterres had expressed "gratitude and humility" and had vowed to "serve" those most vulnerable, including victims of conflict, terrorism, violation of rights and poverty.

In his vision statement submitted in April this year, Guterres had stressed that the values of peace, justice, human dignity, tolerance and solidarity enshrined in the Charter are central to all cultures and religions in the world and are reflected in the Holy Books - from the "Upanishads" to the Qur'an and the Gospels.

He had said the Secretary-General of the UN should "actively, consistently and tirelessly" exercise his good offices and mediation capacity as an honest broker, bridge builder and messenger of peace.

Guterres noted that prevention is also crucial to combating terrorism and the international community has the "legal right and moral duty" to act collectively to put an end to terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations."

--With inputs from PTI

First published: 13 October 2016, 20:37 IST