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Antonio Guterres to be sworn in as next UN Secretary-General

12 Dec 2016 | Written by Ramya Patelkhana; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

Antonio Guterres is set to be sworn in as the ninth United Nations Secretary-General on Monday, during a formal ceremony at the UN General Assembly.

After taking the oath of office, Guterres would address all 193 member-states of the UN his plans to reform the 71-year old United Nations and also confront global crises.

He would take over from Ban Ki-Moon on 1 Jan'17.

In context: The Ninth UN Secretary-General - Antonio Guterres

IntroductionAbout Antonio Guterres

Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, born on 30 April 1949, is a Portuguese politician and diplomat.

He was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, as the leader of the Socialist Party.

He was also the President of the Socialist International from 1999 and 2005.

He also served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees between June 2005 and December 2015.

Formal ElectionGuterres formally elected as the next UN Secretary-General

Guterres was formally elected as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's successor on 13 Oct'16 by the UN General Assembly.

He had submitted his nomination for the same as the Portuguese candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection.

On 6 Oct'16, the 15-member UN Security Council officially nominated Guterres, after which he was formally elected in the UN General Assembly's 71st session.

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12 Dec 2016Antonio Guterres to be sworn in as next UN Secretary-General

Former UNHCRThe choice of the former UNHCR

The choice of Guterres, the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the Secretary General energized several diplomats who see him as a skilled politician.

He is expected to overcome divisions that crippled the UN, especially over Syria.

The 67-year-old had kept ending Syria's five-year carnage at the top.

Diplomats say he is keen to put forward a new plan to achieve a settlement.

The USUS, the biggest contributor of the UN's operating budget

Antonio Guterres would take over as Secretary-General only weeks before US President-elect Donald Trump moves into White House.

Guterres is expected to show he is "primed" for action amid anxiety over the US role in the world.

The US is by far the biggest contributor - 22% - of the UN's operating budget and funding 28% of the peacekeeping mission costing $8 billion annually.

European Council on Foreign Relations' UN expert Richard Gowan's statement

"This is tough for Guterres. He enjoyed a wave of diplomatic goodwill at the UN. Now he will find it hard to propose big institutional reforms or float new political initiatives until the Trump team is settled in and made its intentions clear."
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Trump-led USThe key to getting Trump-led US onboard

Trump's victory put Paris Agreement's future in doubt and stirred unease over the possibility of a new diplomatic deal-making from the US sidelining UN.

Trump's view of the UN isn't clear, but Nikki Haley's appointment as US Ambassador was considered positive.

A diplomat said Guterres' plans to "turn it (world) into something the US can support," is the key to getting Trump-led US onboard.

A UN Security Council diplomat's statement

The diplomat said Guterres will have to show that "he is shaking up the system enough in order to really make it effective, slimming it down in some places, realigning it in others, in a very pro-active way."

13 Dec 2016New UN Chief Antonio Guterres takes oath

The new secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Gutteres was sworn in as the 9th secretary general of the UN.

Gutteres pledged to "exercise in all loyalty, discretion and conscience" his duties as UN chief when he takes charge on January 1; Gutteres is the former Portuguese Prime Minister.

He was also the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

16 Dec 2016Nigeria's environment minister now UN chief's deputy

Incoming chief of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres appointed Amina Mohammed, Nigeria's environment minister as his deputy secretary-general today.

Brazilian diplomat Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti was announced as the chef de cabinet.

Before being appointed as Nigeria's environment minister, Amina was outgoing United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special adviser on post-2015 development planning.

31 Dec 2016UN Secretary says post midnight 'everything changes'

Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon jokingly said that he felt like "like Cinderella - tomorrow at midnight, everything changes".

He thanked his colleagues and the UN workers for their steadfast efforts and commitment to support him in his 10-year tenure.

As a message to his staff he said: "Keep the focus on people - on people's rights and people's dignity".

29 Jan 2017UN Secy General: Populism spreading anti-Muslim hatred

Speaking to Holocaust survivors, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the rise of populism had led to increase in "anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of intolerance".

He called for social cohesion which should counter prejudice that is giving a free pass to extreme hatred.

He said stereotyping Muslims was "deeply troubling," and shared his concerns regarding discrimination.