Antonio Guterres has the character, vision, skills to lead UN: Barack Obama

Guterres served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

By: IANS | Washington | Published:October 14, 2016 3:29 pm
Antonio Guterres, United Nations, new UN chief, Barack Obama, Guterres UN chief, UN secretary general, UN Antonio FILE – In this June 20, 2015 file photo, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, right, arrives for a visit at the Midyat refugee camp in Mardin, southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, Saturday, June 20, 2015. Gutierrez visited the camp which is sheltering those who have fled the 4-year conflict in neighbouring Syria, on the World Refugee Day (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, File)

US President Barack Obama has congratulated Antonio Guterres on his election as the next secretary-general of the United Nations. “Guterres has the character, vision, and skills needed to lead the United Nations at this critical moment and to reform its organizations and operations to better meet these unprecedented challenges,” Obama said in a statement on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported. The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday appointed 67-year-old Guterres as the next UN secretary-general to succeed retiring Ban Ki-moon, whose term expires at the end of this year.

Guterres served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. Before joining the UN refugee agency, Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He was the prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

ALSO READ: New UN chief Antonio Guterres vows to work as ‘convener, bridge-builder’

The US pledges to provide its full support to Guterres when he assumes leadership of the UN on January 1, 2017, Obama added.

In the statement, the US President also paid tribute to Ban for his decade of service to the UN.

“Secretary-General Ban has galvanized the international community behind efforts to address climate change, pushed the United Nations to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts, and advocated for universal values and human rights,” Obama said.