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World’s Next Top Diplomat ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, The New Secretary General of the United Nations

antonio guterres

In an era rocked by terrorist attacks, a massive refugee crisis, and ongoing political upheavals, António Guterres has become the world’s top diplomat, Secretary General of the United Nations. Encouraged by more than 13 countries and discouraged by none, Mr Guterres is the first former head of government to become UN chief. Mr Guterres’s nomination initially caught the international community by surprise, after several efforts were exerted to give that role to a woman. The 67-year-old polyglot has pledged to work as a “convener, a mediator, a bridge-builder and an honest broker” to confront global crises. Mr Guterres will officially succeed current Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, and assume office on January 1, 2017.<br>

Profile

1. Born in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, on 30 April 1949.
2. Graduated in Electrotechnical Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico in 1971. Also attended the postgraduate course in Economics for Engineers.
3. Started academic career as assistant professor.
4. Started political career in 1974 by joining the Socialist Party.
5. Elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 .
6. A member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (1981-1983).
7. Worked as chairman of the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees.
8. Founded the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991.
9. Secretary-General of the Socialist Party and leader of the opposition (1992).
10. Became the 114th Prime Minister of Portugal in 1995.
11. Re-elected in 1999.
12. President of the European Council (January-June 2000).
13. Elected High Commissioner for Refugees by the UN General Assembly in May 2005.
14. Served as UNHCR from June 2005 to December 2015.
15. Received the unanimous backing of the UNSC on October 6 and the 193 member states of the UNGA formally elected him on October 13.

Distinctions

1. Grand Cross of the Order of Liberty (Portugal, 2 February 2016).
2. Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain, 14 June 2002).
3. Grand Cross of the Order of Christ (Portugal, 9 June 2002).
4. Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit (France, 4 February 2002).
5. Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil, 2002).
6. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan, 2002).
7. Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic (Tunisia, 2002).
8. Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, First Class (Ukraine, 2002).
9. Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italy, 3 December 2001).
10. Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Chile, 30 September 2001).
11. First Degree of the Order of Amílcar Cabral (Cape Verde, 27 April 2001)
12. Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold (Belgium, 9 October 2000).
13. Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III (Spain, 8 September 2000).
14. Grand Cross of the Order of Honour (Greece, 17 March 2000).
15. Sash of Special Category of the Order of the Aztec Eagle (Mexico, 2 July 1999).
16. Grand Officer of the Order of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Uruguay, 10 December 1998).
17. Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Poland, 22 September 1997).
18. Grand Cross of the Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil, 23 July 1996).

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