Oxfam congratulates António Guterres on UN Secretary-General appointment

Published: 6th October 2016

In response to the appointment of António Guterres as the next UN Secretary-General, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said today:  

"Oxfam congratulates António Guterres on his appointment to what is arguably one of most challenging jobs on the planet. Mr. Guterres brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the role to guide the UN in the years to come.  

"The new Secretary-General must face up to a world of numerous protracted conflicts, reprehensible breaches of the rules of war and a massive global displacement crisis. He must readily confront the extreme economic inequality crisis that is trapping people in poverty, undermining economic growth and threatening instability around the world. He must also steer the world onto an ambitious path to a low-carbon future, to avoid catastrophic climate change.  These are some of the challenges the new Secretary-General must address. The UN is as strong as its member states: those states must provide the new Secretary-General genuine support to take urgent and necessary action. 

"Governments in seventy years have picked only men to lead the UN; the journey to find a woman, feminist Secretary-General goes on. We do however fully expect that the new Secretary-General will be a feminist Secretary-General who puts women's rights and gender equality at the very core of the international agenda. And for the UN to be relevant, effective and accountable - in a world so different from the times when it was founded in 1945 - Mr Guterres must spearhead essential reforms to the UN. 

"We take this opportunity to congratulate Ban Ki-moon again for his outstanding, dignified leadership. Among his achievements were ushering in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement: both will be remembered in history for charting a better course for humanity." 

Contact information

For interviews with Winnie Byanyima, please contact Nabil Ahmed in Washington D.C.: +44 7471 142971 | nabil.ahmed@oxfaminternational.org

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.