Letter of nomination
Letter from the Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic presenting the candidature of Mr. António Guterres for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Letter dated 29 February 2016 from the Prime Minister of Portugal addressed to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council
The Government of Portugal thanks you for your letter of 15 December 2015 concerning the selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General of the United Nations and wishes to contribute to this vital endeavour.
Portugal fully agrees that the position of Secretary-General is of the greatest importance, requiring the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, as well as a firm commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We also agree that it is indispensable for candidates to have previously demonstrated leadership and managerial abilities as well as an extensive experience in international relations and strong diplomatic, communication and multilingual skills.
It is for these reasons that Portugal wishes to present the candidature of Mr. António Guterres for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations. The presentation of this candidature is based on the firm conviction that Mr. Guterres fully meets all of these criteria and that his experience, notably as Prime Minister of Portugal (1995-2002) and then as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015), a responsibility that he bore for two consecutive terms of office, render him particularly well suited for the unique responsibilities of Secretary-General. Allow me to draw particular attention to his work as High Commissioner and the ability — widely recognized — that he demonstrated in dealing with critical and challenging problems threatening world peace and security, undermining the safeguarding of human rights and compromising sustainable development. Throughout his tenure he showed exemplary understanding of and respect for the values of the United Nations, and extensive international experience which is highly relevant to the pursuit of the Organization’s objectives.
During the ten and a half years of his mandate as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees he maintained excellent cooperation with Member States and developed strong partnerships with civil society and the private sector. At the same time, the Office of the High Commissioner went through a period of continuous and intense reform and innovation, allowing it to triple its annual activities, increase its efficiency in delivery and coordination, and reduce to an unprecedented extent the burden of its structural and administrative costs, thus placing the focus of its resources on people in need. Throughout the mandate of Mr. Guterres, the organization gave special attention to the protection and empowerment of women and girls, as well as to the promotion of gender parity in its workforce.
In presenting this candidature, the Government of Portugal is also mindful of the other aspects referred to in your joint letter, specifically the opportunities that will be offered to the candidates for interaction with members of the General Assembly and of the Security Council, which we very much welcome.
Let me assure you that the presentation of this candidature is also motivated by Portugal’s desire to contribute to the process of selecting the next Secretary-General, enriching the choice offered to the relevant United Nations bodies and ensuring a swift and smooth appointment of the future incumbent, through the presentation of an outstandingly capable and experienced individual who has repeatedly demonstrated his leadership and commitment to the objectives of the United Nations and to effective multilateralism.
The letter of nomination is available in pdf format in the following languages: