Refugees International Statement on the Next UN Secretary General

Refugees International welcomes the choice of António Guterres as the next United Nations Secretary General.

Not only is Guterres a strong leader with the necessary political acumen to guide the United Nations forward, he also possesses deep knowledge of the many humanitarian challenges facing the international community today. Coming on the heels of the recent UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, the selection of Guterres demonstrates the UN’s commitment to addressing the critical needs of the world’s 65 million refugees and displaced persons. A compelling communicator, we are confident that Guterres will serve as a strong advocate for the world’s vulnerable populations in the years ahead. 

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of serving under Mr. Guterres during his tenure as UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Guterres was impressive both in his dedication to the cause of refugees and in his deep knowledge of world’s most pressing humanitarian issues. He showed leadership in bringing development agencies in early support of humanitarian crises and in his advocacy for the rights of refugee and displaced women. We hope that he will serve as a champion for improved, increased, and diversified refugee protection and humanitarian financing. A forward thinker, Guterres was among the first to advocate for the recognition of human displacement caused by global climate change.

We congratulate the United Nations Security Council on its decision and for keeping its commitment to a transparent selection process. Today’s announcement insures that the United Nations will embark on a new promising chapter for the institution, its member states, and peoples of the world.

Michel Gabaudan
President, Refugees International