United Nations Security Council supports Antonio Guterres for second term United Nations
The United Nations Security Council has supported Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second term and recommended to the 193-member General Assembly that he be appointed for an additional five years effective January 1, 2022.
Estonian Ambassador to the UN Sven Jürgenson, chairman of the June council, said the General Assembly would likely meet to make the appointment on June 18.
“He has already proven himself worthy of the post with his five years in office,” Jürgenson said on Tuesday.
“He was an excellent general secretary. He’s a bridge builder… He’s able to talk to everyone, and I think that’s what we expect from the secretary general ”.
In a statement, Guterres said: “I am very grateful to the members of the board of directors for the trust they have placed in me.
“I would be deeply humbled if the General Assembly gave me the responsibilities of a second term.
Guterres took over from Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, after a hotly contested race in October 2016 that initially included 13 candidates: seven women and six men.
It was a few weeks before US President Donald Trump took office. Much of Guterres’ first term focused on appeasing Trump, which called into question the value of the UN and multilateralism.
The United States is the largest financial contributor to the UN, accounting for 22% of the regular budget and about a quarter of the peacekeeping budget. US President Joe Biden has already started to restore Trump’s budget cuts to some UN agencies and has made a renewed commitment to the global body.
A handful of people tried to challenge Guterres, but the 72-year-old former Portuguese prime minister had no formal opposition. A person will only be considered as a candidate once nominated by a Member State. Portugal presented Guterres for a second term, but no one else had the support of a member state.
Guterres held a lengthy open question-and-answer session with UN diplomats at the General Assembly last month, then met with members of the Security Council in private.
He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, then head of the United Nations Refugee Agency from 2005 to 2015. As Secretary General, Guterres supported climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.
When he took over as head of the UN, the world organization fought to end wars and address humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. These conflicts have not yet been resolved and Guterres also faces emergencies in the Tigray region, Myanmar and Ethiopia.
New York-based Human Rights Watch urged Guterres to take a more public stance during his second term, noting that his “recent will” to speak out against abuses in Myanmar and Belarus should be broadened to include “powerful governments.” and protected ”which deserve to be condemned.
“Guterres’ first term was defined by public silence on human rights violations committed by China, Russia, and the United States and their allies,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.