Source: News Bharati English25 Oct 2016 14:57:50

Geneva, Oct 25: As António Guterres of Portugal was named the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations the World Council of Churches (WCC) congratulated him on his appointment.

“This is good news for the UN and for all who need the UN to fulfill its important tasks in our time,” wrote WCC General Secfulfill Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit in a letter to Guterres. “I admire your courage, your clarity, and your true compassion with the suffering peoples in our world,” Tevit said assuring Guterres of WSS’s support and prayers.

“In a time of multiple converging global crises, your experience and wisdom will be greatly needed – perhaps more so now than at any previous time in the history of the United Nations,” wrote Tveit.

The manner in which Guterres fulfilled his mandate as UN High Commissioner for Refugees has been a source of inspiration and motivation for many in the international community and around the world, continued Tveit. “At a time in which the principles of international humanitarian and refugee law and policy - and the UN’s capacity to respond to the dimensions of the forced displacement crisis - have been under unprecedented pressure, you gave principled, energetic and effective leadership to the UN refugee agency.”

Guterres’s humanitarian commitment to alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people, in particular refugees and those affected by conflict, and his commitment to gender equality will surely continue to be priorities for him during his tenure wrote Tveit. “And I am certain that your strong commitment to engagement with the faith community, as demonstrated in the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Faith and Protection, will continue to be a feature of your leadership of the United Nations.”

The World Council of Churches has worked for justice and peace alongside and in frequent collaboration with the United Nations since the formation of the respective organizations, Tveit noted. “Through its Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), the WCC was one of the original non-governmental organizations in consultative relations with the United Nations, and contributed actively to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to other foundational processes.”

Guterres, formerly prime minister of Portugal, will officially succeed Ban Ki-Moon as UN Secretary-General in January 2017.