The new Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, has been sworn in at a ceremony in the country's capital, Tegucigalpa.
Mr Zelaya has promised to tackle poverty and gang warfare
The civil engineer narrowly won November's polls for the centre-right Liberal Party, beating ruling National Party candidate Porfirio Lobo.
As he took office, Mr Zelaya pledged to tackle the gang warfare that continues to blight Honduras, despite a crackdown by his predecessor.
He also vowed to tackle poverty in one of central America's poorest nations.
A supporter of a free trade deal with the US, Mr Zelaya said Honduras has to be brave in meeting the challenges of globalisation.
He said the country's programme to help the poor needed to be overhauled.
The international community, he said, needs "to help us to orient the poverty-reduction projects towards... generating jobs and income".
Mr Zelaya has appointed a former army general to tackle the problem of the street gangs or "maras", who have gained notoriety through a series of recent massacres, robberies, prison riots and beheadings.