Remarks by H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly, at Oath of Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
12 December 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the General Assembly, I have the honour to welcome Secretary-General-designate, His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, to take the Oath of Office.
Firstly, on behalf of you all, I wish to congratulate Mr. Guterres on his appointment as the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Antonio Guterres emerged as the winning candidate for the role of Secretary-General, following an historically public and comprehensive selection process at the United Nations, during which his integrity, values and competence shone through.
The Secretary-General-designate is recognized indeed as a man who embodies the universal spirit of the United Nations.
We have every confidence he will lead our organisation with wisdom and rectitude, ever dedicated to the common good of humanity.
As the President of the General Assembly, I will do all within my power to facilitate a smooth transition and strong start in office for Mr. Guterres.
We all stand ready to work in support of the Secretary-General-designate in the priority areas he has already identified. These include building the interlinkages between peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights; and taking a universal and integrated approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
We will support him in his work to pursue the ‘centrality of prevention’, with emphasis on sustaining peace.
We will help him strengthen strategic cooperation with key partners, including regional organisations, international financial institutions and civil society.
We will buttress his efforts to promote reform and innovation, so that the United Nations is better able to deliver to the people that it serves.
And we will stand firm with him in advancing the core values of the United Nations relating to peace, justice, inclusion, and diversity throughout the world.
The world is facing serious global challenges, some of which go so far as to threaten humanity’s ongoing place on this planet. Finding the necessary global solutions will require tireless commitment from all who possess a sense of responsibility for the well-being of the generations ahead.
We the peoples of the United Nations, have in Secretary-General-designate Guterres, a man who can shape our common endeavour to overcome those many challenges; a leader for this time when we must transform the world to be a sustainable and better for place for all.
In the daily toil ahead, may the heart and mind of Antonio Gutteres be ever fortified by the high purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
I thank you.