Antonio Guterres swears-in as new UN chief

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Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

Los Angeles : Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was on Monday sworn in as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

He is the ninth UN chief in the body’s 71-year history and will take duties over Ban Ki-moon on Jan 1. Guterres, 67, was elected to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October after he earned accolades for performing well during his tenure as prime minister and as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005-2015.

He won the first place among 13 candidates vying for the job in informal polls in the Security Council.

Just after the sixth poll, the council proposed his name to the assembly for final approval.

After being sworn-in by General Assembly President John William Ashe, Guterres addressed the 193 member nations and said, “It benefits no one if takes nine months to deploy a staff member to the field. The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process, more on people and less on bureaucracy.”


Before the swearing-in, 193 General Assembly members paid tribute to Ban with a standing ovation by several top leaders and dignitaries including Myanmar politician and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.