A Diplomat and a Dealmaker: Antonio Guterres as Next United Nations Secretary-General
By admin December 16, 2016

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Much of the rhetoric over the United Nations (UN) these days concerns the organization’s image in the world. With numerous wars producing millions of refugees in addition to the many other services the UN provides, they are stretched thin to say the least. Some will say that the organization needs to be less bureaucratic while others will say that the organization is doomed as it is privy to the interests of the States that created it after World War II. While reforms certainly are in order, the organization is pleased to welcome fresh leadership from a man whose record is certainly one devoted to the people the UN stands to serve.

Mr. Antonio Guterres has been on the frontlines in Kenya where he negotiated aid from the UN to the refugees in Somalia all while negotiating diplomacy with the Kenyans. The current Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, said Mr. Guterras, “is perhaps the best-known where it counts most: on the front lines of armed conflict and humanitarian suffering.” The incoming Secretary-General has a lot on his plate, much like many world leaders today. A war continues to rage in Syria, emptying the country of millions of its citizens that are flooding neighboring countries as well as reaching the shores of Europe. Yemen continues to be a bastion of war, violence, and famine. Climate change threatens the shore communities of a number of African countries as well as those in Southeast Asia. That is only to name a few of the issues Mr. Guterres will face when he assumes his new post in January.

With all of these issues dividing nations and others, it is ever more important to unite. In a world where countries within the Council that serves to work out world issues, are divided, it is ever more important to remind the world that the UN arose from the ashes of the devastation of World War II for the very purpose of prohibiting such a large scale conflict from ever taking place again. In this time there is the need for diplomacy and that is done through communication and understanding. Mr. Guterres is known for his political savvy as he has served as the Prime Minister of Portugal and served to broker important deals over land and cash. He has stood as a harbinger for women’s rights as well as the rights of those who badly need a voice.

From East Africa to Lebanon to Western Europe, Mr. Guterras has worked a variety of jobs and seen a variety of places and peoples to prepare him for his new post. His mind works mathematically as it does politically and he has the wherewithal to endure tough situations. While the challenges he will inherit are certainly formidable, he is one of many who arose from the candidates who are well qualified for the position he is about to assume. The UN and all of its citizens welcome him with open arms in the hopes that his acumen will be able to exact some sort of ease on the suffering of the world.

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