UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres set to be re-elected as chief of world body

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United Nations, Jun 8 (PTI) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is all set to be re-elected as chief of the world body after the powerful Security Council adopted by acclamation a resolution recommending his name to the General Assembly for a second five-year term beginning January 1, 2022.

The 15-nation Council held a closed meeting on Tuesday where it adopted the resolution recommending Guterres’ name to the 193-member General Assembly for a second term as Secretary General.

Estonia’s Ambassador to the UN Sven Jürgenson, President of the Council for month of June, told reporters after the meeting that the Council has recommended to the General Assembly that Guterres be appointed as the Secretary General for a second term of office from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026.

'Even though we had only one official candidate, the process of the selection has not changed since last time. Now we pass on the torch to the UN General Assembly,' he said.

Jurgenson said the vote in the General Assembly to re-elect Guterres could take place on June 18.

'We have all seen actually the Secretary General in action. I think he has been an excellent Secretary General. He's a bridge builder, his views on the conflict zones in the world and he's able to speak to everybody. And I think this is something that is expected from the Secretary General and he has proven worthy of the post already with the five years that he has been in office.' India had expressed its support for re-election of Guterres as UN Chief and welcomed the adoption of the resolution recommending his name.

'India welcomes the adoption of @UN #SecurityCouncil resolution recommending a second term to #UnitedNations Secretary-General @antonioguterres,' India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted.

Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had met Guterres at the United Nations headquarters and expressed New Delhi’s support to him for his second term as the world’s top diplomat.

'India values UNSG's leadership of the UN, especially in these challenging times. Conveyed our support for his candidature for a second term,” Jaishankar had said in a tweet after the meeting.

Later a press release issued by the Permanent Mission of the India to the UN also stated that Jaishankar “conveyed that India values Secretary General’s leadership of the United Nations, especially in these challenging times. He conveyed India’s support for his candidature for re-election for a second term.” Under the UN Charter, the Secretary-General is appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Each Secretary-General has the option of a second term if they can garner enough support from Member States.

Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took oath of office on January 1, 2017 and his first term ends on December 31 this year. Former Prime Minister of Portugal, Guterres served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from a decade from June 2005 to December 2015.

Guterres, nominated by the Government of Portugal, has been the only official candidate for the position of Secretary General and his re-election was a given. There has been no woman Secretary General in the UN’s 75-year history and Guterres’ re-election will mean that any possibility of having a female lead the world organisation can come only after 2026.

In response to a question on there being only one candidate for Secretary General and no woman being considered for the post, Jurgenson said while there were other 'self-proclaimed' candidates who were not official candidates, according to the rules and procedures, only Member States can nominate candidates for the Secretary General.

Fortunately or unfortunately, 'beauty is in the eyes of the looker, like they say,' Jurgenson said, adding that he is 'particularly glad' that the same transparent and democratic process is still applied for the election this time like last time. 'And even though there was only one candidate, but the candidate presented his vision statement. We had hearings also at the General Assembly and the Security Council. So, this procedure is democratic.' A 34-year old Indian-origin employee at the United Nations Arora Akanksha had announced her candidacy for Secretary General, throwing her hat in the ring against Guterres, saying she refuses to be a by-stander and it is now time for a new UN.

In March, Guterres had circulated his vision statement and earlier in May, laid out his case for a second term to UN Member States during an informal interactive dialogue convened in the General Assembly Hall.

Guterres was elected after a reformed selection process that included a public informal dialogue session in the General Assembly, involving civil society representatives, aimed at ensuring transparency and inclusivity.

In his vision statement 'Restoring trust and inspiring hope’, Guterres said that the imperatives for the next five years include mounting a massive and enduring response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences in the short-term, leaving no stone unturned in the search for peace and security, making peace with nature and climate action, turbocharging the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and advocating for a more equitable world among other issues.

'As we emerge from the pandemic, the UN is more relevant than ever…We must act as a catalyst and a platform for more inclusive, networked and effective forms of multilateralism. Our direction of travel is clear on peace and security, climate action, sustainable development, human rights and the humanitarian imperative.

'Our power to transform the current situation into a better world and future for all depends on everyone everywhere and can only be done successfully if we are resolute and resolved to combine our efforts towards our common agenda for the benefit of humanity and the planet,” Guterres said in his vision statement. PTI YAS ZH ZH

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