Guterres, the only candidate for the top UN post, said he was “humiliated and energized” by the support of the nations of the world.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has been unanimously re-elected for a second five-year term by the 193-member United Nations General Assembly.
The 72-year-old Portuguese, the only candidate for the top post in the world body, said on Friday that he was “humiliated and energized” by the support, adding that the “leading issue” of his second term will be “prevention in all its spheres “. aspects: from conflicts, climate change, pandemics, poverty and inequality ”.
“I will do my utmost to ensure the flourishing of trust between nations large and small, to build bridges and to dedicate myself relentlessly to building trust,” Guterres told the General Assembly after taking the oath of office. .
Ambassadors in the meeting room erupted in applause when Assembly Speaker Volkan Bozkir announced Guterres ’re-election by“ acclaim, ”without a vote.
Earlier this month, the 15-member Security Council recommended that the General Assembly re-appoint Guterres. His second term officially begins on January 1, 2022.
Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, a few weeks before Donald Trump became president of the United States. Much of Guterres ’first term focused on appeasing Trump, who questioned the value of the UN and multilateralism.
Washington is the main financial contributor to the UN, responsible for 22 percent of the regular budget and about a quarter of the peacekeeping budget. President Joe Biden, who took office in January, has begun restoring funds funded by his predecessor to United Nations agencies and is once again committed to the world body.
Among those who welcomed Guterres’ re-election were U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Blinken described Guterres as “capable of directing results” and “capable of a demanding role.”
The United States “hopes to continue our strong and constructive relationship … as we advance the urgent task of creating a more peaceful world and a prosperous future,” Blinken said. “The United Nations is an indispensable anchor of the multilateral system,” where nations work together “to address unprecedented challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, human rights, development, migration and humanitarian crises.”
For his part, Merkel praised Guterres’ commitment to peaceful solutions to conflicts, climate protection and “innovative solutions to global problems” in his first term and thanked him for his contribution to the installation of COVAX. to get COVID-19 vaccines in the poorest countries.
“The coronavirus pandemic, in particular, has shown us that the ability of the United Nations to respond quickly to current challenges is essential,” he said.
Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and Head of the UN Refugee Agency from 2005 to 2015. As Secretary-General, he has advocated for climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.
When he took over as head of the UN, the world body struggled to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. These conflicts are still unresolved and Guterres also faces emergencies in Myanmar and the Ethiopian Tigray region.