Norway welcomes Guterres as next UN Secretary-General

‘I am pleased that the Security Council has recommended the appointment of António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General. He is highly qualified and has the personal qualities needed to head the UN in a world where more and more people are being affected by war, conflict and humanitarian disasters,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Mr Guterres was recommended by a formal decision of the Security Council today. The recommendation will be forwarded to the UN General Assembly, which is expected to make the formal appointment within a short time.

'The greatest challenges facing the world today must be resolved through international cooperation. The UN has a very important role to play here. In a time of so much antagonism and conflict, it is encouraging that the members of the Security Council have been able to agree on the choice of Secretary-General. I am confident that António Guterres will be a strong and clear leader for the UN. Norway will support him in every possible way,' said Ms Solberg.

Mr Guterres served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for more than 10 years up to 2015. As one of the world's largest donors to UNHCR, Norway has worked closely with him. He has a reputation as a charismatic, professional and unassuming leader with clear principles. He has shown a genuine commitment to the world's refugees and has been a strong voice in their support. He has for a long time been the favourite among the many candidates for the top position in the UN.

'Norway has considered it important for the process of choosing the UN Secretary-General to be open and inclusive. The nomination of Mr Guterres has been an important step in the right direction. All the official candidates, including Mr Guterres, presented a vision statement to the UN and took part in informal dialogues with UN member states and civil society before the Security Council made its decision. Mr Guterres convinced many people that he was the right candidate during the open part of the process, and gained many supporters,' said Ms Solberg.

Read also: Our five recommendations for the next UN Secretary-General.