United Nations, December 12: Antonio Guterres on Monday sworn as the ninth and next United Nations Secretary-General. Like to tell you that, Antonio Guterres will assume his duties on 1 January 2017. He pledged to reposition development at the centre of the Organization’s work and ensure that the UN can change to effectively meet the myriad challenges facing the international community.
“The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy,” said Mr. Guterres after taking the oath of office at a ceremony before the 193-member UN General Assembly.
On this occasion he said that this must involve leadership, coordination, delivery and accountability. We will build on the outcome of the recent discussions among Member States,” he said, underlining the need to bring humanitarian and development spheres closer together from the very beginning of a crisis. “Humanitarian response, sustainable development and sustaining peace are three sides of the same triangle,” he further highlighted.
At the onset of his remarks at the swearing-in-ceremony, the Secretary-General-designate paid tribute to Secretary-General Ban for his “principled leadership [that] helped to chart the future of the UN – through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; through [his] commitment to peace and security; through [his] initiative to put human rights at the heart of [UN’s] work.”
Guterres then highlighted three strategic priorities for the Organization: working for peace; supporting sustainable development; and reforming its internal management.
“Inspired by the new concept of sustaining peace, it is time for us all to engage in a comprehensive reform of the UN strategy, operational set-up and structures for peace and security,” he highlighted. Guterres also emphasized the need to do more to prevent and respond to the sexual violence and exploitation committed by those serving under the UN flag against those they are supposed to protect.
He also pledged to respect gender parity from the start in all appointments to the Senior Management Group (SMG) and the Chief Executives Board (CEB), stressing: “By the end of my mandate, we should reach full gender parity at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels, including special representatives and special envoys.”
Antonio Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal (1995 to 2002) and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015) took the oath of office following the Assembly’s tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of the month after leading the global Organization for the past 10 years.