October 6, 2016 / 4:30 PM / 10 months ago

U.N. nominee Guterres says humbled, will tackle world's huge challenges

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Antonio Guterres, High Commissioner for Refugees, pauses during a news conference for the launch of the Global Humanitarian Appeal 2016 at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland December 7, 2015.Denis Balibouse

LISBON (Reuters) - Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres thanked the United Nations Security Council for nominating him to be the next Secretary-General on Thursday and vowed to tackle "enormous challenges" in the world affected by various conflicts.

"I have two words to describe what I'm feeling now: gratitude and humility," he said in a short statement in Lisbon, which he repeated in various languages. He also praised the incumbent U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea. Ban will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms.

"Humility (is what I feel) about the huge challenges ahead of us, the terrible complexity of the modern world. But it is also humility that is required to serve the most vulnerable, victims of conflicts, of terrorism, rights violations, poverty and injustices of this world," said Guterres, 67.

Reporting By Sergio Goncalves and Andrei Khalip; Editing by Dominic Evans

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