He participated in an interactive dialogue at the General Assembly on May 7, in which he presented his visions, priorities and challenges.
The idea of these meetings is to make the selection process of the highest representative of the UN more transparent.
At the beginning of the year, Guterres expressed his desire to remain in the post for another five years, a candidacy supported by his country of origin: Portugal. It would be an honor for him to continue to serve in the pursuit of its purposes and the fulfillment of its objectives, he said in a letter to the General Assembly President, Volkan Bozkir.
The Portuguese diplomat took over in January 2017 and succeeded Ban Ki-moon after a contested race in October 2016, which initially included 13 contenders for the post.
During his first term, he focused on pushing for reform in the UN system in order to place prevention and sustainable development as key pillars. In this endeavor, he established a stronger resident coordinator group with greater leadership, accountability and impartiality and also strengthened the UN’s work in the field.
Another of his goals has been to achieve gender parity in the body’s multilateral teams, which he has already achieved among senior managers. Addressing the climate crisis and achieving a change of course to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, reducing polluting emissions and reaching carbon neutrality are also at the center of his agenda.
Guterres has extensive diplomatic experience, having served as Prime Minister of Portugal and as UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In his years as secretary-general, he has had to face what he considers to be the biggest challenge facing the UN since its founding 75 years ago: the Covid-19 pandemic, which has generated a health and socio-economic crisis of global proportions.
So far, there are no other potential contenders and if any are presented, further interactive dialogues may be scheduled, which are held before the Security Council begins the selection process.
The secretary-general is appointed by the Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council and is therefore subject to veto by any of the five permanent members (Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom) of that 15-member body.
(Taken from Orbe)