Security Council votes to grant Guterres second term as UN chief: Official

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The United Nations Security Council voted on Tuesday to give Secretary General Antonio Guterres a second term, with conflict resolution set to top his agenda at the world body’s helm.

The 72-year-old former prime minister of Portugal has held the office since 2017 and faced no competitors for the next term in the job.

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Portugal put forward Guterres for a second term, but none of the other 10 people who also sought the position had the backing of a member state.

During a brief closed door session the Security Council voted unanimously to recommend that the General Assembly give Guterres another term, said the council’s current president, Estonian ambassador Sven Jurgenson.

Approval from the General Assembly is seen as a formality and expected to take place soon.

During his first term Guterres was forced to concentrate on limiting the potential damage from the unilateral, nationalist and alliance-wary foreign policy of Donald Trump.

The United States is the largest UN financial contributor, responsible for 22 percent of the regular budget and around a quarter of the peacekeeping budget. New US President Joe Biden has already started restoring funding cuts made by Trump to some UN agencies and re-engaged with the world body.

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

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and then head of the UN refugee agency from 2005 to 2015.

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