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Wide view of the General Assembly - UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

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António Guterres secures second term as UN Secretary-General & calls for new era of 'solidarity and equality'

António Guterres has been re-appointed as UN Secretary-General for a second term, pledging as his priority, to continue helping the world chart a course out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking the oath of office in the General Assembly Hall, Mr. Guterres said he was aware of the immense responsibilities bestowed on him at this critical moment in history.

"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," he told ambassadors.

He was nominated by his homeland, Portugal, and appointed by acclamation by the General Assembly, following prior endorsement by the UN Security Council, for a second term that runs from January 2022 to December 2026.

He said it was crucial that the way out of the pandemic should occur on a much more equitable basis, going forward: "Our greatest challenge - which is at the same time our greatest opportunity - is to use this crisis to turn the tide, pivot towards a world that learns lessons, promotes a just, green and sustainable recovery and shows the way via increased and effective international cooperation to address global issues."


The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN has 4 main purposes

  • To keep peace throughout the world;
  • To develop friendly relations among nations;
  • To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other's rights and freedoms;
  • To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.

The UN Charter established six principal organs of the United Nations: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat. The United Nations family, however, is much larger, encompassing 15 agencies and several programmes and bodies.

General Assembly: 193 Member States

Security Council: 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent

Economic and Social Council: 54 members

The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.

The Secretariat - an international staff working in duty stations around the world - carries out the diverse day-to-day work of the Organization. It services the other principal organs of the United Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them. At its head is the Secretary-General, who is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council for a five-year, renewable term. António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1 January 2017.