President Barack Obama congratulated former Portuguese Minister, António Guterres, on his recent appointment as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In a prepared statement issued by the White House on October 13, through the Office of the Press Secretary, President Obama welcomed Mr. Guterres to his new role, stating that the United States will providing full support to Mr. Guterres when he assumes leadership of the United Nations.
“We have every confidence that, as a former Prime Minister of Portugal and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. 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,” President Obama said.
On October 6, the 15-member United Nations Security Council nominated António Guterres Secretary-General of the organization, starting January 1, 2017. The nomination was officiated on October 13.
António Guterres, 67, will be the first former head of government to lead the Security Council, replacing Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea who will step down at the end of 2016 after completing two consecutive five-year terms.
The following is the full statement by President Barack Obama:
Statement by the President on the
Election of António Guterres as the
Next Secretary-General of the United Nations
On behalf of the United States of America, I congratulate António Guterres on his election today as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. As a founding member and host country of the United Nations, and a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, the United States pledges to provide our full support to Mr. Guterres when he assumes leadership of the United Nations on January 1, 2017.
Since its inception, the United Nations has played a central role in resolving armed conflicts, preserving stability, lifting billions out of poverty, delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, and promoting the fullest enjoyment of human rights worldwide. With tens of millions displaced, U.N. peacekeepers deployed at record levels, climate change already impacting countries worldwide, and extremists targeting innocent civilians, the international community has never relied more on the United Nations than it does today. We have every confidence that, as a former Prime Minister of Portugal and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. 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.
As the United States welcomes Mr. Guterres to his new role, I also want to take this opportunity again to pay tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his decade of service to the U.N. 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. He has been a valued partner for the United States and we thank him for his leadership.
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