Portuguese diplomat António Guterres took over as the United Nations’ new secretary-general Sunday and issued an appeal for peace.
“Let us make 2017 a year in which we all — citizens, governments, leaders — strive to overcome our differences,” Guterres said shortly after taking the reins. He urged people to share his New Year’s resolution: “Let us resolve to put peace first.”
Guterres, 67, succeeds Ban Ki-moon, who was the U.N. chief for 10 years.
Prior to Guterres’ election the General Assembly, the U.N. considered giving its top job to a woman for the first time. Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, has said “gender parity” is key for the organization to thrive. In mid-December, Guterres announced he will appoint Nigeria’s environment minister, Amina Mohammed, as his deputy. He also said he would appoint Brazil’s Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti as his chief of staff. A senior policy adviser role will be given to Kyung-wha Kang of South Korea. In 2016, 33 of the U.N.’s 46 senior roles were held by men, according to the Global Peace Operations Review, an online resource covering peacekeeping and political missions.