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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The 193-member United Nations General Assembly appointed former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres on Thursday as the ninth secretary-general of the world body for five years from Jan. 1, 2017.

Guterres, 67, will replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea. Ban will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms.

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

IMAGE: Nominated U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a news conference at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon, Portugal October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

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