UN Appoints Antonio Guterres as the New Secretary-General - EazyFeeds

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Friday 14 October 2016

UN Appoints Antonio Guterres as the New Secretary-General

The UN General Assembly on Thursday formally ap­pointed Antonio Guterres as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations, replacing Ban Ki-moon.
The 193 member states adopt­ed by acclamation a resolution ap­pointing the former Prime Minis­ter of Portugal for a five-year term beginning January 1, 2017.
The socialist politician, who also served as UN refugee chief for a decade, is expected to play a more prominent role as the world’s diplomat-in-chief than Ban, the South Korean former foreign minister who will step down af­ter two five-year terms.

In his opening speech at the UN headquarters on Thursday, he vowed to fight terrorism and pop­ulism and to help overcome divi­sions over ending the war in Syria.
“We must make sure that we are able to break these alliances between all those terrorist groups or violence extremists on one side and the expression of populism and xenophobia on the other side. We must be able to fight both of them with determination,” Gu­terres said.
He also highlighted the im­portance of gender equality in his speech, calling it a priority com­mitment of the UN to protect and empower women.
“I have long been aware of the hurdles women face in soci­ety, in the family and in the work­place, just because of their gen­der. I have witnessed the violence they are subject to during conflict or while fleeing, just because they are women and I have tried to ad­dress this to every public office.
“The protection and empow­erment of women in the organisa­tion are and will continue to be a priority commitment to me.”
Guterres won unanimous support from the UN Security Council during a vote last week that capped the most transparent campaign ever held at the United Nations for the top post.
The 67-year-old polyglot cam­paigned on a pledge to promote human rights and enact reforms within the UN system, seen as clunky and too slow to respond to unfolding disasters.
His appointment comes at a time of global anxiety over the on­going war in Syria, the refugee cri­sis and raging conflicts in South Sudan and Yemen.
Born and raised in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, António Guterres was educated at the prestigious Li­ceu de Camões (now Secondary School) where he graduated in 1965, winning the “Prémio Na­cional dos Liceus” as the best stu­dent in the country.
He then studied physics and electrical engineering at Institu­to Superior Técnico in Lisbon. He graduated in 1971 and start­ed an academic career as assistant professor teaching Systems Theo­ry and Telecommunications Sig­nals, before leaving academic life to start a political career.
In 1972, Guterres married Luísa Amélia Guimarães e Melo, with whom he had two children, Pedro Guimarães e Melo Guterres and Mariana Guimarães e Melo de Oliveira Guterres. His wife died of cancer at the Royal Free Hospital in London on 28 January 1998.
In 2001, he married his sec­ond wife Catarina Marques de Almeida Vaz Pinto, a former Por­tuguese State Secretary for Cul­ture and more recently Culture Secretary for the City Council of Lisbon. Through this second marriage he has a stepson named Francisco Vaz Pinto da Costa Ra­mos.
In addition to his native Por­tuguese, Guterres speaks English, Spanish, and French.
On 29 February 2016, Gu­terres submitted his nomination as Portugal’s candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection.

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