United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the five permanent members of the Security Council that he would like to stay on for a second term. According to a report published in Bloomberg News, Guterres is likely to officially inform the president of the UN General Assembly soon about his decision. Guterres took office as the ninth secretary-general in January 2017 for a five-year term that finishes at the end of the year.
Guterres was waiting for the results of the November election in the United States before coming to a decision and was seeking a second term following the win of President-elect Joe Biden, according to Bloomberg. The United States and the United Nations were not on the same page in many instances during the administration of President Donald Trump. Under Trump, the United States left the World Health Organization and upset Security Council members with its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. It also exited the Paris climate accord. Guterres’ office had no comment on the Bloomberg report.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.
The Secretary-General is also Chairman of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which brings together the Executive Heads of all UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies twice a year in order to further coordination and cooperation in the entire range of substantive and management issues facing the United Nations System. One of the most vital roles played by the Secretary-General is the use of his “good offices” — steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading. Each Secretary-General also defines his role within the context of his particular time in office.