Politics, World

Antonio Guterres: The next UN Secretary General

As the United Nations former Secretary General’s tenure has come to an end in December 2016; the United Nations Security Council has chosen its Ninth Secretary General by election in October 2016. This new figurehead of the UN is known to possess a creative, generous, mature politician and talented personality.

António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, the former Prime Minister of Portugal, is going to be the new Secretary General of the UN succeeding Ban Ki Moon. Antonio Guterres was born on April 30th 1949 in Lisbon. He has been a talented person starting from his college life, winning the “Best Student in the country” award in 1965. He started his career as an assistant professor teaching Telecommunications Signals. In 1974, he left the academic life and emerged as a politician by joining the socialist party. Due to Antonio’s extraordinary leadership skills and political policies, he became Secretary General of the Socialist Party and the opposition leader in Portugal. Soon after, Socialist International nominated Antonio Guterres as vice-president of the organization. He rapidly became popular among the Portuguese nation and elected as Prime Minister of Portugal. After his second term as Prime Minister of Portugal, he resigned and started working as president of Socialist International. He has also served as the UN’s High Commissioner of Refugees before this, and actively worked for refugees from Iraq, the Syrian civil war and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When taking a look at Guterres’ career as a vibrant politician and dynamic diplomat, it is predictable that he will not compromise on the United Nation’s Mission. The United Nations Security Council seems to be expecting great things from their newly nominated Secretary General. In a meeting with the Italian President in Rome, the former Secretary General of the UN said, “I know Mr. Guterres very well and consider him a superb choice. He has experience as Prime Minister of Portugal. His wide knowledge of world affairs and his lively intellect will serve him well in leading the UN in a critical period.”

Guterres is a person with strong religious views. He is catholic and often supports religious views, but as a socialist he has supported liberalization many times in his career.

On October 5th 2016, the final poll of the election for the Secretary General was conducted. Candidates who raced for Secretary General this year comprised of 7 women from different countries. These women candidates included Irina Bokova Director-General of UNESCO and former Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Helen Clark former Prime Minister of New Zealand and administrator of the UN Development Programme, Kristalina Georgieva also from Bulgaria’s European Commissioner for budget and Human Resources, Natalia Gherman acting prime minister of Moldova, Vesna Pusic from Croatia and Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica. Two of the women (Vesna Pusic and Christiana Figueres) withdrew from the candidateship while the other women candidates could unfortunately not get enough votes to be the next Secretary General of the UN.

Antonio Guterres won this election by obtaining 13 out of 15 votes and 4 Permanent member countries’ votes. He will start his office work on January 1st, 2017. His political and diplomatic experience and work for social development has been extraordinary and well organized, which should help him to tackle the problems of this volatile world.

About Assad Saeed

Assad is a student of electronics from Pakistan with a lot of experience in writing. His fields of interest include computers and technology, however he can also write content on every day issues such as science, history, current affairs and more.

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