The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday appointed Antonio Guterres as the UN secretary-general for a second term of five years beginning Jan. 1, 2022, according to Xinhua.

President of the 75th UNGA session Volkan Bozkir has officially announced the appointment.

Speaking to reporters after the appointment, Guterres said that he will take on the responsibility of serving a second term as secretary-general “with profound gratitude and a deep commitment to work together to advance the UN Charter at a time of great peril and promise.”

Noting that the pandemic “has revealed our shared vulnerability, our inter-connectedness and the absolute need for collective action,” the secretary-general said that “our biggest challenge – and at the same time our greatest opportunity – is to use this crisis as a chance to turn things around, to pivot to a world that learns its lessons, recovers fairer, greener and more sustainably, and forges ahead with much more effective global cooperation to address global concerns.”

Guterres recalled that the “driving theme” in the vision statement which lays out the details for his second term is “prevention,” noting that means the “prevention in all its aspects – from conflict, climate change, pandemics to poverty and inequality.”

Talking about his 10 “inter-related imperatives for action,” the secretary-general said that the first starts with “mounting a massive and enduring response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.”

“Our single most immediate test will be effectively overcoming COVID-19 and equipping the world to prevent and be better prepared for future pandemics and other existential threats,” he said.

“The virus is spreading faster than vaccines,” said the secretary-general, adding that “we need an all-out effort to ensure vaccines for everyone everywhere – and we need it now.”