Portugal’s Guterres Confirmed as Next UN Chief


The U.N. Security Council formally confirmed Portugal’s Antonio Guterres Thursday as the U.N.’s next secretary-general.

In a rare show of unity, the 15 U.N. Security Council members coalesced around the 67-year old former prime minister and former head of the U.N. refugee agency, unanimously endorsing him to lead the organization when Ban Ki-moon’s term expires at the end of this year.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who heads the council this month, announced the result of the formal vote.

“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. So I think it was a great choice,” he said.

Next week, the U.N. General Assembly is expected to give his appointment the final approval.

Guterres was Portugal’s prime minister from 1992 to 2002. He led the U.N. Refugee Agency for a decade from 2005-2015.

He told VOA in an interview during his campaign that he was running for the top U.N. job because he wants to “create the conditions for solutions” to global challenges.

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