Informal dialogue with the Secretary-General-Designate, António Guterres

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Statement by H.E. Mr Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, at informal dialogue with the Secretary-General-Designate, António Guterres

19 October 2016


Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just one week ago we brought to a successful conclusion the most transparent and inclusive process for selecting and appointing the Secretary-General, as set out in resolutions 69/231 and 70/305.

It was an historic moment for the United Nations, and for this General Assembly.

I thank all Member States for their constructive approach to the selection and appointment process.

It enabled the process to be concluded smoothly, and for the Secretary-General-designate to be appointed by acclamation.

This spirit of openness and inclusivity continues today.

During my consultations, and those of my Special Advisers, with the General Assembly membership ahead of our formal meeting last week, many delegations expressed an interest in having the opportunity to meet early with the Secretary-General-designate, and to begin a dialogue on the critical, priority and emerging issues for the organisation.

I am pleased that the His Excellency, Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General-designate, has been able to join us today.

I thank him for making himself available so soon after his appointment, to hear from Member States.

The level of interest of Member States in interacting with the Secretary-General-designate, and the range of issues which they wish to raise, is clear from the very large number of speakers who have already inscribed to the list.

So, without further delay, I cut short my own remarks and ask that all delegations taking the floor this afternoon do likewise.

 I now invite the Secretary-General-designate of the United Nations, His Excellency, Mr Antonio Guterres, to make a statement.

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