Antonio Guterres was sworn on Friday as UN Secretary-General for his second term. In a speech to the General Assembly Guterres thanked the Member States and said it was a “great privilege“to be re-elected as Secretary-General.
Guterres was nominated by his home country, Portugal and his candidature was approved by the 193 Member States. Earlier the Security Council had recommended his re-election to the General Assembly.
Speaking at a press conference after the ceremony, Guterres reiterated that from the many lessons that we learned, the most important lesson is that alone we can do nothing. The most important lesson is that we need to rebuild solidarity and trust.
Guterres added that it would be essential to make prevention and preparedness - in the broad sense of the words - a top priority in the international system.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken congratulated Guterres saying his country looked forward to continuing our strong and constructive relationship with the secretary-general.
Global issues require a collaborative, effective, and results-oriented leader in the United Nations secretariat, and we have that in Antonio Guterres, Blinken added.
Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon as Secretary-General 1 January 2017 and will stay at the head of the UN until the end of 2026.
Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish.
Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. Before joining UNHCR, Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.