Antonio Guterres to seek second five-year term as UN Secretary-General

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that he will be seeking a second five-year term as chief of the world organisation. President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, had enquired last Friday about Guterres’ intentions regarding a second mandate. “The Secretary-General conveyed to him today that he is available to serve a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations if that would be the will of the member states,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing on Monday.

Dujarric said the Secretary-General also addressed a letter of similar content to the President of the Security Council.

In accordance with Article 97 of the UN Charter, the appointment of the Secretary-General is made by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, which in effect means that any of the five permanent members can veto the nominee. Each Secretary-General has the option of a second term if they can garner enough support from member states.

The term of the next Secretary-General will begin on January 1, 2022.

Guterres assumed office on January 1, 2017, after a reformed selection process that included a public informal dialogue session in the General Assembly, involving civil society representatives, where each of the 13 candidates presented vision statements and took questions.

Dujarric said the UN chief had informed the Security Council, and the heads of regional groups of his decision, and that it was too early to gauge any reaction from member states at this stage or speculate about any other potential candidates.

“The Secretary-General will be in the hands of member states on the process, and the Secretary-General will, of course, fully meet any expectations expressed by the General Assembly on submission of a vision statement, opening himself to question sessions, but he is a candidate. Those who organise the process, the member states will have to talk to you about the next steps,” he said.

When asked if Guterres’ announcement to seek a second term depended on the US election, Dujarric said the Secretary-General wanted to be as transparent as possible.

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