On behalf of the United States of America, I congratulate António Guterres on his election today as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. As a founding member and host country of the United Nations, and a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the United States pledges to provide our full support to Mr. Guterres when he assumes leadership of the United Nations on January 1, 2017.
Since its inception, the United Nations has played a central role in resolving armed conflicts, preserving stability, lifting billions out of poverty, delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, and promoting the fullest enjoyment of human rights worldwide. With tens of millions displaced, U.N. peacekeepers deployed at record levels, climate change already impacting countries worldwide, and extremists targeting innocent civilians, the international community has never relied more on the United Nations than it does today. We have every confidence that, as a former Prime Minister of Portugal and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Guterres has the character, vision, and skills needed to lead the United Nations at this critical moment and to reform its organizations and operations to better meet these unprecedented challenges.
As the United States welcomes Mr. Guterres to his new role, I also want to take this opportunity again to pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his decade of service to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban has galvanized the international community behind efforts to address climate change, pushed the United Nations to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts, and advocated for universal values and human rights. He has been a valued partner for the United States and we thank him for his leadership.