Merkel congratulates Guterres

New York (dpa) – The Portuguese António Guterres will head the United Nations for another five years. As expected, the UN General Assembly appointed the 72-year-old on Friday for a second term. The adoption of a resolution to that effect was unanimous. Guterres had run unopposed and with the backing of the powerful Security Council.

In addition to numerous regional conflicts – including in Syria, Libya, Yemen and Myanmar – the fight against the climate crisis is seen as being one of the biggest future challenges for Guterres. On repeated occasions of late the UN chief has painted the picture of a world on the brink and called on the major CO2 producers to make greater efforts. The economic and social turmoil as well as the poverty and hunger caused by the coronavirus pandemic are also likely to play a role for some time to come.

The UN chief’s new term will start on 1 January 2022 and last until the end of 2026. Guterres is the ninth secretary-general and has headed the global organisation since 2017. His reappointment had long been considered certain: in recent years, Guterres has maintained good relations with the influential veto powers of the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and France. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already congratulated him.

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