Security Council votes to reelect Guterres as UN chief for second term

The United Nations Security Council has voted to reelect Antonio Guterres as the UN secretary-general, assuring a second term for the Portuguese statesman that will keep him in office until 2027.

The Security Council on Tuesday formally recommended Guterres, the 72-year-old former prime minister of Portugal, who faced no competition for the 2022—2027 term with conflict resolution set to top his agenda.

Around 10 little-known contenders, who had aspired to the job, including two women, also sought the position but they were not formal candidates because none of the 193 UN member states endorsed them.

The current president of the Security Council, Estonian ambassador Sven Jurgenson, said the world body, during a brief closed-door session, voted unanimously to recommend that the General Assembly give Guterres another term.

“I think he is an excellent secretary-general. He has proven worthy of the post,” Jurgenson told reporters at the United Nations headquarters after the decision.

General Assembly’s approval is seen as a formality and expected to take place soon.

In a further signal of support for Guterres, none of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the 15-member council – the United States, Britain, France China, and Russia — publicly questioned a second term for him.

Guterres was victorious in 2016 from a field of 13 official candidates, including seven women, took office the same year and was forced to concentrate on limiting the potential damage from the unilateral, nationalist, and alliance-wary foreign policy of former US President Donald Trump.

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

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