. Portuguese officials have welcomed the choice as an honor for the country and a triumph for Portuguese diplomacy. Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2001 and subsequently president of the Socialist International. He also was UN High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to the end of last year. As secretary general of ONU, Guterres will confront a range of issues, from war-torn Syria and Yemen to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by North Korea and the refugee crisis in Europe. He was widely considered the most competent person for the job based on his experience, vision and versatility on a range of issues.