I’ll be an honest broker for peace, pledges new U.N. leader Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres has pledged to make the pursuit of peace in a conflict-torn world his over-arching priority after being elected the next secretary-general of the United Nations. The former Portuguese prime minister said the U.N. had “the moral duty and the universal right” to ensure peace — and he would be promoting a new “diplomacy for peace” advocating dialogue to settle disputes. Mr Gutteres said he would do his best before taking the reins from Ban Ki-moon on January 1 to prepare “to act as a convener, an honest broker, someone trying to bring people together” in conflicts and crises from Syria and Yemen to South Sudan.

Diversity can bring us together, not drive us apart.

Antonio Guterres

Mr Guterres, the organisation’s humanitarian chief, was elected by the 193 members in New York on Thursday night. He won unanimous support from the 15-member Security Council during a vote last week, beating 12 other candidates - seven women and six men. The 67-year-old told the assembly: “We must make sure that we are able to break this alliance between all those terrorist groups or violent extremists on one side and the expressions of populism and xenophobia on the other side. These two reinforce each other, and we must be able to fight both of them with determination.”

We have selected a candidate who is prepared to cut past the jargon and the acronyms and the sterile briefings and get real

U.S. ambassador Samantha Power