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Antonio Guterres will take over as new UN secretary-general Jan 1 next year

Reporter: Liling Tan 丨 CCTV.com

10-13-2016 12:33 BJT

In just a matter of hours, the United Nations General Assembly will appoint Antonio Guterres as the next UN Secretary General to succeed outgoing Ban Ki-moon. Portugal's former Prime Minister will lead the world body starting January 1st, for a five-year term.

It is almost official: Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal and the previous UN High Commissioner for Refugees, will assume the role of the world's chief diplomat and moral authority from the beginning of next year.

The UN's largest body the General Assembly is set to formally appoint Guterres as the next UN Secretary General on Thursday.

After a long and unprecedentedly transparent race for the UN's top job, Guterres emerged as the clear favorite among members of the Security Council, which traditionally elect a candidate that the General Assembly appoints.

This will be the first time we'll hear from Guterres as the Secretary-General designate, and the first opportunity for the world to glean clues about how he will lead the world body through one of its most challenging moments in history.

Guterres takes over from Ban Ki-moon a daunting array of conflicts and crises, from the Syrian conflict now in its sixth year with no end in sight, a refugee crisis fueled by civil wars and unrest across the Middle East and Africa - including in South Sudan and Libya - and an ambitious plan to slow down the rate of global warming, just to name a few. 

In his vision statement laid out at the onset of the race for the Secretary General position, Guterres addressed the need for UN reforms to improve the UN development system and uphold human rights standards.

And with his decade-long tenure as UN refugee chief, Guterres has pledged a strong focus on humanitarian issues.

Guterres also stressed the importance of transparency, accountability and oversight, and the need to improve the reputation of the United Nations, including those serving under the UN peacekeeping force, which has come under heavy scrutiny following several sex abuse and exploitation exposés.

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