09 October 2016

Portuguese Antonio Guterres to become next Secretary General of the United Nations

ETLJB 9 October 2016 Government of East Timor Media Release Dili, 8 October, 2016 Government Congratulates António Guterres

Timor-Leste congratulates H.E. António Guterres and Portugal on the announcement of his acceptance of the unanimous nomination of the United Nations Security Council to become the next United Nations Secretary-General.

Mr. Guterres was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015. He is held in great esteem by the Timorese people as a champion of our struggle for self-determination and a constant advocate for our Nation’s democracy, peace, stability and progress. He visited Timor-Leste for the first time in 2000, and subsequently in 2002 to be part of the ceremony of the Restoration of Independence.

The United Nations Security Council is recommending that the 193 Member States appoint him for a five year term beginning 1 January 2017. A meeting of the General Assembly expected to take place next week to approve the appointment.

Over the years Mr. Guterres has expressed that the cause of the Timorese people has been “one of the
most important causes in my political life” and has advocated for all to “work together to help this small country to be able to face its future with hope and with success.”

The appointment of Mr. Guterres will see him take over the leadership of the UN from Mr. Ban Ki-moon who has served two terms as the Secretary-General. Prime Minister Araújo recently expressed at the General Assembly “our deepest appreciation to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for all the support that Timor-Leste has received during his 10 years in office.”

Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted that “the people of Timor-Leste have great affection for António Guterres and warmly congratulate him on his nomination. We also congratulate Portugal. Mr. Guterres is a uniquely qualified individual for what will be a demanding time as Secretary–General when the organization is facing unprecedented global challenges. Timor-Leste is delighted to hear of his nomination and reassured that this important leadership role is to be taken on by a person with such intellect, experience and integrity.”ENDS

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