Updated on Oct. 13 | The United Nations unanimously voted for Antonio Guterres to become the next U.N. secretary-general, replacing Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1.
Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres is the unanimous choice to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general of the United Nations. The Security Council agreed in an informal poll Wednesday to recommend the man who had served as the U.N. High Commissioner for refugees until December 2015.
The U.N. Security Council will hold a formal vote on Guterres on Thursday, according to Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who made the announcement.
Ban served two consecutive terms as secretary-general. His last day in office is Dec. 31.
“In the end, there was just a candidate whose experience, vision, and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling,” said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power of Guterres.
The NewsHour has interviewed Guterres over the years about refugees. In 2014, he talked with Judy Woodruff about crises in Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. When asked what was the main challenge of helping Syrian refugees, he said it’s that it’s “a never-ending conflict.”
“We have now the largest displacement in the world for decades,” he said, “6.5 million people displaced inside the country, more than 2.6 million refugees coming into the neighboring countries. And, as you can imagine, it’s not only a terrible tragedy for the Syrians. It’s becoming an enormous threat to the stability of the region and a global threat to peace and security.”