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UN approves Antonio Guterres as next Secretary General

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By Catherine Hardy
UN approves Antonio Guterres as next Secretary General

The 193-member UN General Assembly has approved the appointment of former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the organisation’s new secretary general.

The next mandate runs from January 1, 2017, for a period of five years.

The backstory

The UN Security Council recently unanimously nominated Guterres to replace Ban Ki-moon.

The 72-year-old from South Korea will step down at the end of 2016 after two terms in office.

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

He served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

The 67-year-old says he will make prevention of conflict a priority, based around the three pillars of UN action: peace and security, sustainable development and human rights.

What you need to know about Antonio Guterres

  • Born in Lisbon, 30 April, 1949
  • Socialist
  • 20 years pre-UN in government and public service
  • Founded the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991
  • Portuguese prime minister 1995-2002
  • 2005-2015 UN High Commissioner for Refugees