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New Secretary-General Guterres Takes Oath, Outlines Vision for United Nations

Sputnik News

20:34 12.12.2016(updated 21:56 12.12.2016)

Antonio Guterres took the oath of office at the UN General Assembly.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – Recently-elected UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was sworn in as chief United Nations executive Monday in front of representatives of the world body's member states.

"I, Antonio Guterres, solemnly swear to exercise in all loyalty, discretion and consciousness the functions entrusted to me as Secretary-General of the UN to discharge these functions and regulate my conduct with the interest of the United Nations only in view," he said.

After the oath-taking ceremony, Guterres addressed the General Assembly, offering his vision of the United Nations and critical global issues.

"It is time to reconstruct relations between people and leaders, national and international. Time for leaders to listen and show that they care – about their own people and about the global stability and solidarity on which we all depend," Guterres said.

He told the representatives that despite numerous, increasingly complex challenges that sometimes "surpass our ability to respond," the United Nations as an institution must adapt and meet these.

Earlier during the meeting, UN General Assembly members' representatives paid tribute to the outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose term officially ends December 31.

"We are so grateful to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his service and for doing so much for making the United Nations into the beacon of hope he has always seen it to be," US Ambassador Samantha Power said.

Ban wished Guterres success and said it had been an honor serving as UN chief. The South Korean diplomat also thanked member states for their "support and continued commitment for the noble purposes and principles of the United Nations."

Guterres, 67, was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and the UN high commissioner for refugees from 2005 to 2015. He was approved by the General Assembly on October 13 for a five-year term as secretary-general, starting January 1, 2017.


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