Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres has been confirmed as the ninth secretary-general of the United Nations for the next 5 years starting 1sta January next year.

The confirmation was made today by the 193-member United Nations General Assembly.

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The 67 year old former Portuguese Prime minister will replace Ban Ki-moon who steps down at the end of year after two terms.

Ban told the General Assembly that Guterres is best known on the front lines of armed conflict and humanitarian suffering.

“His political instincts are those of the United Nations: cooperation for the common good, and shared responsibility for people and the planet,” he said. “He recognises the crucial importance of women’s empowerment, from peace tables to the halls of this house.”

The 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously recommended that the Guterres appointment. He beats 12 other candidates, seven of whom were women.

A New World Under Guterres

In his speech, the new leader promise to be “a convener, a mediator, a bridge-builder and an honest broker” in a world facing large challenges.

“The dramatic problems of today’s complex world can only inspire a humble approach – one in which the secretary-general alone neither has all the answers, nor seeks to impose his views,” he said

Guterres will be expected to make appointments into senior U.N. positions in coming weeks. This is amidst speculations that China would like one of its nationals to head peacekeeping and that Russia is keen to lead political affairs.

Currently, a French man runs peacekeeping, an American man leads political affairs and a British man is in charge of humanitarian affairs