Samantha Power

Peace is top priority for next UN chief Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres pledged Thursday to make the pursuit of peace in a conflict-torn world his "over-arching priority" after being elected the next secretary-general of the United Nations.

The former Portuguese prime minister and U.N. refugee chief told the 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly who elected him by acclamation that the United Nations has "the moral duty and the universal right" to ensure peace — and he will be promoting a new "diplomacy for peace" advocating dialogue to settle disputes.

Gutteres said he will do his best before taking the reins of the U.N. from Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1 to prepare "to act as a convener, an...