Kriti Agrawal –
The United Nations Security Council has endorsed Secretary-General António Guterres for a second term, suggesting that the 193-member General Assembly re-appoint him for a five-year term beginning from January 1, 2022.
Sven Jürgenson, Estonia’s UN Ambassador and Council President, said the General Assembly was likely to gather on June 18 to make the appointment.
Jürgenson said, “He has already proven himself worthy of the position in the five years he has been in office. He has been an outstanding Secretary-General. He constructs bridges. He is able to communicate with everyone, which I believe is expected of the Secretary-General.”
Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-Moon as Secretary-General in January 2017, following a hotly contested election in October 2016 that had 13 candidates, seven women and six males.
It was just a few weeks before Donald Trump took President in the United States. Much of Guterres’ first term was spent trying to appease Trump, who questioned the UN and multilateralism.
Last month, Guterres had a lengthy open question and answer session with UN ambassadors in the General Assembly, followed by a private meeting with Security Council members.
When he took over as UN Secretary-General, the international organization was battling to halt hostilities and address humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. These conflicts remain unresolved, and Guterres is now dealing with crises in Myanmar and Ethiopia’s Tigray area.
Human Rights Watch, based in New York, asked Guterres to adopt a more public stance during his second term, saying that his recent willingness to condemn atrocities in Myanmar and Belarus should be expanded to include powerful and protected countries deserving of condemnation.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch said, “Public silence on human rights atrocities by China, Russia, the United States, and their allies characterised Guterres’ first term.”