U.N. Security Council backs Guterres for second term

Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations. /VCG Photo
FILE PHOTO: Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations. /VCG Photo

The United Nations Security Council has backed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second term, recommending that the 193-member General Assembly appoint him for another five years from January 1, 2022.

Estonia’s UN Ambassador Sven Jürgenson, council president for June, said the General Assembly was likely to meet to make the appointment on June 18.

“He has proven worthy of the post already with the five years he has been in office,” Jürgenson said on Tuesday.

“He has been an excellent secretary-general. He’s a bridge-builder … He’s able to speak to everybody, and I think this is something that is expected from the secretary-general.”

A handful of people sought to challenge Guterres, but the 72-year-old former prime minister of Portugal was formally unopposed. A person would only be considered a candidate once nominated by a member state. Portugal put forward Guterres for a second term, but no one else had the backing of a member state.

Guterres held a lengthy open question and answer session with the UN diplomats in the General Assembly last month and then met Security Council members privately. When he took the reins as the UN chief, the world body was struggling to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. Those conflicts are still unresolved, and Guterres is now also faced with emergencies in Myanmar and Ethiopia’s Tigray region.