UN chief Guterres appointed for second term

The UN General Assembly elected Antonio Guterres to a second term as secretary-general on Friday, giving him another five years at the helm of the 193-member world organization.

Ambassadors in the assembly chamber burst into applause as Assembly President Volkan Bozkir announced Guterres’ re-election by acclamation.

Just before the announcement, Estonia’s UN Ambassador Sven Jurgenson, the current Security Council president, read a resolution adopted by the 15-member council recommending Guterres for a second term.

Under the UN Charter, the General Assembly elects the secretary-general on the recommendation of the Security Council.

The 72-year-old former prime minister of Portugal has held the office since 2017 and faced no competitors for the next term in the job.

During his first term Guterres was forced to concentrate on limiting the potential damage from the unilateral, nationalist and alliance-wary foreign policy of Donald Trump.

The United States is the largest UN financial contributor, responsible for 22 percent of the regular budget and around a quarter of the peacekeeping budget. New US President Joe Biden has already started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to some UN agencies and re-engaged with the world body.

Now, as he embarks on a new term, Guterres will need “a battle plan” for all the crises around the globe, one diplomat said.

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and then head of the UN refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.

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