New UN Secretary-General Starts Work

New UN Secretary-General Starts Work
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Antonio Guterres officially assumed his position on Tuesday (03) as Secretary-General.

Guterres, in a Snapchat interview Tuesday, was asked whether Trump’s criticism worried him and Guterres responded, “No. I am concerned about all the terrible problems we face in the world, all the wars that are happening everywhere.” He added, “I hope we will all be able to come together.” “The US is a country totally committed to UN reforms and will be an important ally in the work ahead that needs to be done,” he said.

President-elect Donald Trump criticized the UN for its failure to perform and for a Security Council vote against Israel on settlements. He even tweeted that the UN was just a place “to talk and have a good time.”

The United States is by far the largest funder of the 193 member countries of the UN, providing more than 20% of the UN budget. Any secretary-general has to make sure relations are good with the White House.

This is only the second time a UN secretary-general and a US president will begin their terms within weeks of each other.

Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, has been praised by former colleagues for his negotiating skills. He served 10 years as the head of the UN’s refugee agency based in Geneva.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the new secretary-general wants 2017 to be a year of peace, spurred by a surge in diplomacy.

 

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