The Elders today congratulated the UN Security Council on its selection of António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as the next UN Secretary-General to succeed Ban Ki-moon in January.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “I am delighted by the outcome of the Council’s selection process. António Guterres is a highly-qualified candidate who is well-prepared for the many daunting challenges he faces. He will need the firm support of the Security Council as well as the wider membership of the United Nations to help him fulfil his mandate in these challenging times.”

The Security Council’s nomination of Mr Guterres now goes to the UN General Assembly for approval. Hopefully, the resolution endorsing his candidacy will be adopted by acclamation, demonstrating that the new Secretary-General enjoys the support of all 193 member states.

The Elders have consistently called for a transparent, merit-based process to select the new head of the United Nations. The open General Assembly hearings in which António Guterres along with the other candidates participated were an important and welcome step in this direction.

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