UN appoints former Portugese PM
WHEN the United Nations General Assembly formally acclaimed Portugese diplomat, Antonio Guterres, as secretary general there was disappointment in many communities. New Zealand and its supporters in the Pacific had hoped for a better showing from former New Zealand Prime Minister – now United Nations Development Programme Administrator – Helen Cark. Eastern Europe had hoped that it would have a long-awaited opportunity to lead the UN and women around the globe had dared to hope that a woman would be appointed. But with the support of the all-powerful UN Security Council, Guterres appeared to have the position in the bag well before the vote. After the Security Council adopted by acclamation the resolution recommending to the General Assembly that Guterres be appointed, Russian Ambassador to the UN, VITALY CHURKIN, fronted the press.
Q: What would you say to millions of women who are disappointed as they expected a female candidate?
A: We had a fair process, encouraged presentation of women candidates. 50 per cent of women candidates. Ultimately, most important thing was to have the best candidate available, which happened to be Mr Guterres.
Q: Will acclamation and unity in the Council on this have impact on other issues in the Council?
A: I hope so, but I can’t say too much. We are continuing our discussions on even the most difficult things. Most importantly this sign of unity will hopefully be translated to GA and they’ll support Mr Guterres
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