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Guterres vows to ‘serve most vulnerable’ as UN chief

Published on 06/10/2016

Antonio Guterres, the man set to become the next head of the United Nations, vowed Thursday to serve "the most vulnerable" when he takes up the post.

The former Portuguese prime minister said he would work for “the victims of conflict, of terrorism, the victims of the violation of rights, the victims of poverty and injustices,” during an address at the foreign ministry in Lisbon.

It was his first public comment since the UN Security Council earlier Thursday unanimously backed Guterres, who was the UN’s refugee chief for a decade, to be the next secretary-general.

A vote by the UN General Assembly’s 193 member states to endorse him as successor to Ban Ki-moon is expected next week, probably on Thursday.

The unanimous backing for Guterres for a five-year term from January 1 followed an informal vote on Wednesday during which 13 of the 15 Security Council members supported his candidacy and none of the five veto-holding powers blocked him.