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.

Istambul, May 2016: António Guterres at the World Humanitarian Summit 2016, Turkey.


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.

António Costa
Prime Minister

The letter of nomination is available in pdf format in the following languages:

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Press Release

The press release issued on the occasion of the nomination of Mr. António Guterres as a candidate for the position of UN SG is available in pdf format in the following languages:

English Português

  • Portugal. A national consensus.

    • It is a candidacy in favour of all, uniting, based on the extraordinary merit of the candidate and based on the certainty that, should he be appointed, António Guterres will be a brilliant Secretary-General of the United Nations, he will value the UN and will build a bridge between all nations with the intelligence and ability for which he is recognised by all.
      <strong>Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa</strong>Marcelo Rebelo de SousaPresident of the Portuguese Republic
    • The Portuguese Parliament is totally committed to helping António Guterres become the future Secretary-General of the United Nations. All political parties expressed their common position in this. At a time when the world faces so many and such challenging crises, António Guterres can contribute to turn a page in international relations through his humanism, perseverance, capacity for work and independence.
      <strong>Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues</strong>Eduardo Ferro RodriguesPresident of the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic
    • At a time when it is more urgent than ever to mobilize the world on behalf of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development, presenting Mr. António Guterres’ candidacy for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations became an obvious imperative for the Portuguese Government.

      <strong>António Costa</strong>António CostaPrime Minister of Portugal