Guterres sworn in as UN Secretary General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in on Monday as the ninth United Nations Secretary-General, pledging to personally help broker peace in various conflicts and reform the 71-year old world body to become more effective.

Guterres, 67, will replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea on Jan. 1. Ban steps down at the end of 2016 after two five-year terms. Guterres was Portugal’s prime minister from 1995 to 2002 and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015.

“From the acute crises in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and elsewhere, to long-running disputes including the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we need mediation, arbitration as well as creative diplomacy,” Guterres said.

“As part of my good offices I am ready to engage personally in conflict resolution where it brings added value,” he told the 193-member General Assembly.

Guterres beat out 12 other candidates, seven of whom were women, amid a push for the first woman to be elected. He said on Monday he aimed to have gender parity among senior U.N. leadership within his five year term.

Diplomats said Guterres is expected to shortly name Nigeria’s environment minister Amina Mohammed as his deputy secretary-general. He is also planning to appoint a woman as his chief of staff before the end of the year, diplomats said.

Before her appointment as environment minister a year ago, Mohammed was U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning – a role that culminated last year with the adoption by the General Assembly of sustainable development goals for the next 15 years.

Guterres is the first former head of government to be elected to run the world body and that experience will be reflected in how he operates, diplomats said.

“He’s looking for a big shake-up, reshuffle,” said a senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s looking to create … a different feeling, with the under-secretary-generals much more part of a collective leadership of the U.N.”

“Having what he calls a cabinet, like when he was prime minister, his senior officials would come together every week and collectively they would have responsibility for the totality of the organization,” the diplomat said.

Diplomats were now watching to see who Guterres appoints to senior U.N. positions amid speculation by diplomats and U.N. officials that China would like one of its nationals to head peacekeeping and that Russia is keen to have a senior role. (Courtesy Reuters)

1 COMMENT

  1. “”Guterres is the first former head of government to be elected to run the world body and that experience will be reflected in how he operates, diplomats said.”

    Otherside of the same fraudulent Portuguese Coin was EU President Barroso with fascista beginnings. Barasso tried the Rajapaksa quickie of being President for Life and he was kicked out lock stock and barrel by the Dutch (VOC did it for Ceylon then) He was solely responsible for creating PIGS. Now he is serenading with Mittal at Goldman Sac’s.

    Guterres the left side of the coin was proposed by Merkel, Obamas friend to befriend Putin. He made his first move as UN refugee boss by conning the German people with it would be only 200k refugees but knew well it would go beyond 2000k (2 million)- cultural shock as 95% of them are muslims (some cant even write arabic as at Canadas 32k refugees) the christian are missing.
    When would this un – elected crook be kicked out ?
    Virgin Queen Elizabeth kick the Portuguese prince who tried to seduce her because Portugal was well known for treachery and even today we at Europe the real PIG- jammon, jammon.- They were at Goa till 1970 and transporting labour.(they were able to fend off the VOC attacks completely by princess Braganza of Portugal handing over Bombay as Dowry to King Charles of England- 1661.AD.) Now we should understand the Kotchi issue at Lanka. English do not drink tea with froth that Kerala serves and at the pubs the froth is removed before the beer is served.- the foreign of India from Nehru period was governed by Kotchi. Stupid Dr Tharoor the journalist released a book whenUK PM Teresa. May was there condemning the British Raj- a one sided equation of greedy idiot So the genial Dr Manmohan Singh (he was responsible for the opening of doors to the outside world for trade) reprimanded Tharoor and said the British Raj left the greatest gift than what Sharia law India was- Constitutional Democracy, Rule of Law and Free press.- not a hum from hum kiss se kam nehi kotchi idiots.

    Anyway like the UNESCO the UN would lose power under Guterres.- unelected bureaucrats that milk the world and bring chaos.
    Germany says it wants to tame russia, French say it wants to tame the middle east.
    Make America Great once again without these cultured creeps who caused 2 World wars.- or 2 European wars.

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