Ban Ki-Moon’s time as the UN Secretary-general is almost at an end and his replacement, Former Prime Minister of Portugal António Guterres is set to be sworn in on Monday the 12th of December.
Ban Ki-moon will step down at the end of the month and the 67-year-old, who has also served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, will take his place as the world’s number 1 diplomat on 1 January 2017.
He is expected to hold the post for the next five years.
António Guterres had been appointed formally by the General Assembly on 13 October. His appointment had been the first of its kind, moving from the traditional appointment behind closed doors by a few powerful countries, to a historic process that saw a lot of public discussions and intense campaigning by each candidate.
Campaigning unofficially kicked off on 12 April and included ‘informal briefings’ between the candidates, UN Member States, and civil society representatives. The three candidates making their case to lead the Organization, presented vision statements and talked about how they would promote sustainable development, improve efforts to create peace, protect human rights, and deal with huge humanitarian catastrophes.
António Guterres came out on top, being appointed by the Assembly as the next Secretary-General. He had shared his gratitude with the Member States and praised the transparent and open selection process;
“I believe this process means that the true winner today is the credibility of the UN. And it also made very clear to me that, as Secretary-General, having been chosen by all Member States, I must be at the service of them all equally and with no agenda but the one enshrined in the UN Charter.”
He will be taking an oath of office today in a ceremony that should also see the 193-member General Assembly pay tribute to outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his exceptional contribution to the work of the Organization over the past decade.