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What awaits Antonio Guterres

By The Standard | Updated Wed, January 4th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo:Courtesy)

The new Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who took office this week, has his work cut out for him. He takes over from South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-Moon whose 10-year stint ended on December 31, 2016.

Guterres was sworn in on December 12, 2016 after the UN Security Council unanimously backed him for the top job. Guterres takes office in the midst of raging conflicts in the Middle East, particularly Syria and Yemen.

The former Portuguese prime minister will also have to deal with the fighting in Mali, Central Africa Republic and Libya as well as terrorism related threats and climate change.

The UN boss will also have to find a way of working with incoming US President Donald Trump who has shown open scorn for the international body. Trump has not hidden his disdain for the UN and has questioned its effectiveness, describing it as “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time”.

We wish Mr Guterres well in his pursuit of world peace and advancing UN development goals. We wish him unmeasured success in addressing the hot topics of climate change and gender empowerment.