Thursday 22 February 2018

Eloquent Guterres can thrive in UN's 'most impossible job in the world'

Antonio Guterres
Antonio Guterres

Mary Fitzgerald

THE world has a new UN secretary general in the form of ex-Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, whose career has included more than a decade working on one of the defining challenges of our times: the displacement of millions forced to become refugees.

For many working at UN headquarters in New York and its numerous satellites across the world, the departure of incumbent Ban Ki-moon - whose record since his appointment in 2006 was considered patchy at best - will not be lamented much.

Guterres, however, is respected and well-liked. He is known through his previous work as head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR. In that role Guterres demonstrated eloquence and a willingness to speak truth to power, both of which are key for the UN's voice to be heard around the world.

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