Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has begun his first term as the ninth United Nations Secretary General, replacing Ban Ki-Moon. He previously heading UNHCR for 10 years, leading the agency through some of the world’s worst refugee crises, including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq. Diplomats await who will join Gutteres at the head of the U.N., with speculation that a Chinese candidate will receive a prominent role in heading peacekeeping, and that Russia will also have a senior role.                           

Alongside continued emphasis on refugees and conflict management, environmental issues are likely to be very prominent under new leadership. The plight of communities most at threat from rising sea levels, environmental migration, and further instability in the Middle East as climate change renders certain regions inhospitable during the summer.

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