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New UN chief to make first address to Security Council


UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will deliver his first address to the Security Council since taking office, making the case for a new, more assertive diplomacy backed by world powers.

Guterres took over from Ban Ki-moon on the 1st of January with a pledge to shake up the world body and boost efforts to tackle global crises.

The former prime minister of Portugal and UN refugee chief faces a deeply divided Security Council which has been unable to take decisive action to end the war in Syria, now in its sixth year.

The UN chief’s first formal appearance at the council will be during a debate on conflict prevention led by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, whose country holds the council presidency this month.

At least nine of the 15 council members will be represented at the ministerial level to hear Guterres lay out his action plan as the world’s diplomat-in-chief.

Among the expected changes is a more hands-on approach from the new secretary general, in what is seen as a shift from Ban who left most of the mediation to his special envoys.