Antonio Guterres recommended for 2nd term as UN Secretary General

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The United Nations (UN) Security Council has adopted a resolution by acclamation, recommending Antonio Guterres for a second-five year term as Secretary-General.

The recommendation goes to the General Assembly that is expected to endorse the Council’s decision by late next week.

Guterres’ current five-year term ends on December 31st.

The process of selecting the next UN Chief began in February with Portugal presenting Guterres as their candidate for the position and a 2022-2026 mandate.

The General Assembly will have the final word – expected on June 18th – a step largely seen as a rubber-stamp of the Council decision where the five permanent members had the power to veto his nomination.

The incumbent was the only candidate formally nominated by a member state – a key criteria for anyone seeking the UN’s highest office.

The Council decision was communicated by its President, Estonia’s Ambassador Sven Jürgenson.

Laying out a vision statement for a second term in May, Guterres called for a surge in diplomacy for peace while urging member states to avoid a new type of cold war while stressing the linkages between the climate threat, nuclear proliferation and the pushback on human rights globally.

In a statement, Human Rights Watch called on Guterres to energetically promote human rights in his second term by using the UN bully pulpit to call out powerful governments responsible for systemic abuses while criticising his non-confrontational approach, particularly where the major powers were involved.

The position has never been held by a woman and it appears inevitable that the wait will continue for at least another five years.

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