UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reappointed for second term

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Jun 18, 2021, 09:08 PM IST
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Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump became US president

United Nations General Assembly on Friday, appointed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second five-year term.

"I will give it my all to ensure the blossoming of trust between and among nations large and small, to build bridges, and to engage relentlessly in confidence building," Guterres told the General Assembly after taking the oath of office. His second term starts on January 1,  2022.

The UN Security Council had recommended reappointment of Guterres earlier this month.

Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump became US president. Much of Guterres' first term was focused on placating Trump, who questioned the value of the United Nations and multilateralism.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the United Nations faced historic challenges, but she hoped that with Guterres at the helm "the next five years will see more peace, more security, and more prosperity than the last."

"It will require hard work, political will, and accountability from all UN member states," she said in a statement, adding every member states should have "an impassioned commitment" to human rights.

The US is the largest financial contributor to the UN. It contributes 22 per cent of the regular budget and about quarter of the peacekeeping budget. US President Joe Biden has started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to UN agencies and re-engaged with the world body.

Guterres, 72, 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 been a cheerleader for climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.

(With inputs from agencies)