Dr. Kurt Waldheim of Austria was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations on Wednesday (22?
Dr. Kurt Waldheim of Austria was appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations on Wednesday (22 December). He immediately pledged to make the world body a strong and effective instrument for peace.
Dr. Waldheim, Austria's U.N. Ambassador, was appointed by the General Assembly for a five-year term beginning on 1 January, when he takes over, from U Thant, who held the post for 10 years.
The 53-year-old diplomat said he was from "a permanently neutral country" without military alliances and with a vital interest in promoting and implementing character principles and provisions. He said he was coming to office "at an important crossroads" in U.N. history.
The seating of the People's Republic of China -- which withdrew its vote in the Security Council on Tuesday to permit his election -- increased the U.N.'s capability to work for the objectives of the charter, Dr. Waldheim said.
The President of the General Assembly, Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik, summoned the Assembly's Steering Committee to the rostrum area on Wednesday, where its members awaited Dr. Waldheim. He was escorted to the rostrum where Mr. Malik administered the oath of office.