The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres has been re-elected for a second term as head of the global body.
Guterres, whose first five-year term began on January 1, 2017 and ends on December 31, 2021, was the sole candidate from the UN’s top job.
He was nominated by his country, Portugal, and appointed by acclamation of the General Assembly, following prior endorsement by the UN Security Council for a second term that will run from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026.
Guteress, who took the oath of office in the General Assembly Hall, UN headquarters on Friday, said he was aware of the immense responsibilities bestowed on him at this critical moment in history.
The ex-Portuguese prime minister promised to help the world toward charting a course out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “We are truly at a crossroads, with consequential choices before us; paradigms are shifting, old orthodoxies are being flipped.
“We are writing our own history with the choices we make right now.
“It can go either way: breakdown and perpetual crisis or breakthrough and prospect of a greener, safer and better future for all. There are reasons to be hopeful.”
Guterres detailed how COVID-19 had taken lives and livelihoods, while exposing inequalities.
“At the same time, countries are confronting challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss,’’ he added.
He also has retained Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as the body’s deputy secretary-general for a second term.
Guterres who addressed journalists after taking the oath of office for a second term, said he had extended an offer to Mohammed to continue in office.
He said: “After being elected, I have the pleasure to invite the deputy secretary-general to remain in my second mandate and I hope she will accept.”
The ex-minister had since accepted the offer.
Mohammed, who was at the press briefing, simply said “absolute honour.”