The United Nations Security Council has formally recommended António Guterres to the UN General Assembly as its next Secretary-General. He is an outstanding candidate with all the qualities and experience to do the job. I had the pleasure of speaking to António this morning to congratulate him on behalf of the United Kingdom and emphasised our commitment to working closely with him in the years ahead.
I also want to pay tribute to the work of Ban Ki-moon in his nearly 10 years as UN Secretary-General. He has led the United Nations with dignity and commitment, guiding its efforts to help those most in need and placing respect for human rights at the heart of its agenda.
I am confident that António Guterres will continue to build on these foundations, providing the leadership required to steer the UN through the many challenges facing our world, not least the crisis in Syria. I hope that the General Assembly can move quickly to accept this recommendation so that António can begin his preparation for this vital job.