UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Antonio Guterres officially declared Monday he is seeking a second five-year term at the helm of the United Nations.
Guterres said in a letter to General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir that "It would be my honor to continue to serve the organization in pursuing its purposes and fulfilling its noble objectives."
The former Portuguese prime minister and U.N. refugee chief was elected by the 193-member assembly to succeed Ban Ki-moon after a hotly contested race in October 2016 that initially included 13 candidates. Guterres took office on Jan. 1, 2017.
"I am available to serve a second term as secretary-general of the United Nations, if that will be the will of member states," Guterres said in a letter to Bozkir obtained by the Associated Press.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres was responding to a letter from Bozkir on Friday asking his "intentions regarding a second mandate."
Dujarric said Guterres informed the five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- on Friday and then spoke to leaders of the U.N.'s regional groups. He also sent a letter Monday to the Security Council, the spokesman said.