Pakistan to work closely with UN chief Antonio Guterres: Munir Akram

Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations: Source: FILE/Online

NEW YORK: Pakistan has felicitated Antonio Guterres on being elected as United Nations Secretary-General for a second term and said it was looking forward to working with him.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, praised Antonio Guterres’ “skilled and experienced” leadership after his re-election as the world body’s chief to serve a second five-year term.

“The UN needs Mr Guterres’ skilled and experienced leadership if it is to effectively address global challenges– the Covid pandemic, economic recession in the developing countries, the climate crisis, proliferating conflicts, and rising global tensions,” Ambassador Akram told a news agency in New York.

“Pakistan will work closely with the secretary-general to enable the UN to address these challenges and turn them into opportunities to create a new, more equitable world,” he added.bAmbassador Akram said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had conveyed felicitations to the UN chief.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been unanimously re-elected for a second five-year term by the 193-member UN General Assembly.

The 72-year-old Portuguese, the only candidate for the world body’s top post, said on Friday he was “humbled and energised” by the support, adding that the “driving theme” of his second term will be “prevention in all its aspects – from conflicts, climate change, pandemics to poverty and inequality”.

 “I will give it my all to ensure the blossoming of trust between and among nations large and small, to build bridges, and to engage relentlessly in confidence building,” Guterres told the General Assembly after taking the oath of office.

READ MORE: Antonio Guterres re-elected as secretary-general for five years

The 15-member Security Council earlier this month recommended the General Assembly reappoint Guterres. His second term officially starts on January 1, 2022.

Guterres succeeded Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump became president of the United States. Guterres’s first term was focused on placating Trump, who questioned the value of the UN and multilateralism. President Joe Biden has started restoring funding cut by his predecessor to UN agencies and re-engaged with the world body.

Guterres was prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 and head of the UN refugee agency from 2005 to 2015. As secretary-general, he has championed climate action, COVID-19 vaccines for all and digital cooperation.

When he took the reins as the UN chief, the world body was struggling to end wars and deal with humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. Those conflicts are still unresolved, and Guterres is now also faced with emergencies in Myanmar and the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

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