Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres Reuters

The UN Security Council on Monday gave its unanimous backing to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second term, The Associated Press reported.

The 15 council members adopted a brief resolution by acclamation and approved a communique at a brief private meeting endorsing Guterres — the only candidate — to be the world’s top diplomat for another five years starting January 1.

Guterres called the council’s decision “a great honor” and said in a statement, “I would be deeply humbled if the General Assembly were to entrust me with the responsibilities of a second mandate.”

He added that it has been “an immense privilege” to serve “we the peoples” -- the opening words of the UN Charter -- during the past four-and-a-half years “when we have been facing so many complex challenges.”

Guterres was sworn in as the ninth secretary-general of the United Nations in December of 2016, and took over from Ban Ki-moon on January 1, 2017.

This year, according to AP, seven individuals submitted applications to be secretary-general without backing from any government, including most recently former Ecuadorian President Rosalia Arteaga.

Guterres, whose five-year term ends December 31, was the only applicant nominated by a UN member state, his home country Portugal. He followed the 2015 process, holding a lengthy open question and answer session with UN diplomats in the General Assembly last month and then meeting privately with Security Council members.

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