António Guterres is the ninth UN Secretary General and the third Chairman of the Board of the UN Global Compact. From the earliest days of the initiative, the first person of the Organization oversees private sector cooperation with the UN throughout the world. And the role of this dialogue at the highest level only increases. Guterrish is not without reason waiting for UN reform and facilitating the renewal of the Global Compact on an unprecedented scale, consistent with the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals, which today more than ever unite international institutions and business at the point of decline for a gradual joint climb.
ANTONIU GUTTERISH ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT. EXTRACTS
About the main goals and objectives of the UN
The UN is the institutional expression of the international community, the cornerstone of our international system and the key actor of effective multilateralism. It is the essential instrument of member States to confront common challenges, manage shared responsibilities and exercise collective action, in an enduring quest for a peaceful, inclusive and sustainably developed world, in which international law and the dignity and worth of the human person are fully pursued. We need a surge in world diplomacy. Global coherence requires an ongoing culture of strategic cooperation at all levels. Cooperation - instead of duplication, exchange - instead of competition, collective responsibility - instead of indirect individual interests. Relevant UN agencies should develop strategic partnerships with civil society partners. Peace, justice, human dignity, tolerance and solidarity are enshrined in the Charter and bind us. These values are central to all cultures and religions in the world and are reflected in the sacred books, fr om the Koran to the Gospels and the Torah, from the Upanishads to the Pali Canon. The UN should be proud of its diversity, which only enriches the power of expression of our common humanity. But in times of insecurity, when people are not confident about their future, when fears are encouraged and exploited by political populists, old-fashioned nationalists or religious fundamentalists, the success of the UN and the international community lies in our commitment to common values.
About the global agenda
We live in times of multiple, evolving and interconnected shifts. Their dynamics - geopolitical, demographic, climatic, technological, social and economic - unprecedentedly increase the threat. Globalization and technological progress have contributed to extreme economic growth and created conditions for reducing extreme poverty and general improvement of living standards. But their unbalanced nature led to a high concentration of income and extreme inequality, making the problems even more unbearable. Inequality, the struggle for resources and weaknesses in management undermine social cohesion and institutional sustainability, contribute to the buildup of violent conflict. Terrorism, international organized crime and disregard of the laws are a real threat. On the horizon - devastating epidemics. Climate change affects economies and peoples, lands, oceans and seas. The world spends much more energy and resources on managing crises than on preventing them. The 2015 Sustainable Development Agreement - The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda contain a clear strategy for action. They give us a unique opportunity that should be used. Achieving these important goals has direct implications for peace, support for human needs and fundamental rights. For many, this means survival. If the world truly seeks to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build an inclusive society by 2030, greater efforts are needed to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. Development is one of the best preventative tools, and the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 offers tremendous potential. Development is a goal in itself and should not be used to achieve other goals. The steps we are taking to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will help build peaceful societies. Now that we know what to do, we need to figure out exactly how. Clear priorities, tangible benchmarks, mobilization of all stakeholders, promotion of national responsibility and a guarantee that no one will be left behind are needed. The main focus is on action, and the slogan is realization, realization, realization.
About the Global Compact and the role of business in achieving the SDGs
Since it is impossible to eradicate poverty without creating well-being, we must more actively promote the Global Compact, which emphasizes the benefits of corporate responsibility. It is clear to me that we do not want the Global Compact to include companies that do not follow the set of principles defined by the constitution of the Global Compact. There are standards of behavior that should be followed. The UN needs to actively engage with civil society and the private sector. Their role in creating global public goods must be fully recognized. The business community plays a key role in bringing innovation to financial models to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of the business community, the private sector, the financial sector is absolutely critical. Funding can help realize or destroy all carefully constructed plans. We have a plan for achieving peace, prosperity, a healthy planet, which are our roadmap for inclusive, sustainable and fair globalization. The best allies in this of all today may represent the business sector, and it is very important for us to mobilize them. Without the private sector, we will not have the necessary innovations, opportunities to open markets, products, services and develop new areas of the economy.
Who needs a strong UN Secretary General? António guterres and impossible mission
From the article by A.Gorelik on the website “International Life” (https://interaffairs.ru/jauthor/material/1835)
When, on October 13, 2016, the UN General Assembly endorsed the candidature of the Portuguese Antonio Guterres for the post of Secretary General proposed by the Security Council, this “vote of confidence” looked natural and logical. However, the path to such a denouement came out very zigzag. To begin with, according to the unwritten rule (and there are such in the global Organization, wh ere, in general, got used to thoroughly, to the point, write documents and regulations), the ninth Secretary General, logically, was to be the envoy of one of the states of Eastern Europe. To this was added one more important circumstance: in the opinion of many, the moment has come in the spirit of gender equality to make the head of the UN for the first time a woman. Before them, I remember, never was even among the official candidates - the times were different. And in the spring - autumn of 2016 from the countries of Eastern and Central Europe in the months-long "race" nine people participated, including, in fact, five women. They were joined by four more applicants from other regions. Several rounds of secret ballotings in the Security Council brought other candidates to the lead, and António Guterres, leading the race, confidently came to the finish line first.
In the face of Guterrish, the United Nations has become the leader of this international scale. He has been working as Prime Minister of Portugal in 1995-2002 (ex-prime ministers have never “ruled” by the Secretariat in New York), a decade at the head of the UN High Secretariat for Refugees, and at the bottom of his career “peaks” - a successful combination of the experience of participation in Catholic philanthropy, volunteering, lifting the party path in his country and the Socialist International. These elements make the figure of the new Secretary General voluminous and extraordinary. In any case, after appointing him on all sides, praise fell: he was an intelligent pragmatist, a staunch idealist, a subtle politician, and a very sociable person, a leader “assertive, but not up to aggressiveness”. At the same time, the next head of the Secretariat had to take over the watch in a more complex and contradictory world than at least two of his predecessors, Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon.
Recent history does not promise the United Nations a relaxed existence. Signs of trouble there. The organization is not able to quickly respond to acute outbreaks of tension, to stop massive atrocities in conflict zones. In the area of human rights violations, it fails to be consistent, with the result being frequent accusations of double standards. The sphere of emergency humanitarian operations is experiencing great overload and shattered. What is happening in the UN reinforces the sense of destabilization of the system of global governance. The new Secretary General has already expressed his concern about deepening mistrust towards institutions, despite the fact that globalization has left many “losers” overboard. The "progressive" (that is, built on the rational basis of justice and equality) ideology of the United Nations is clearly in defense under the pressure of the trends of populism and nationalism that have come to the forefront in the world.
The Secretary General, in accordance with the UN Charter, is the “chief administrative officer” of the Organization. In fact, its functions are significantly wider. The only question is - how much. The real situation is determined by life itself, including the concrete persona of the head of the Secretariat. In the very title of the post laid duality. On the one hand, this is a secretary, that is, an official responsible for the work of the entire UN bureaucratic machine. But on the other - the general (in English, the original language of the Charter, it means someone). From such a "benevolent" interpretation follows the view of the Secretary General as a mouthpiece and the personification of the will of the international community. No wonder it is sometimes called the “worldly pope”, or “the guarantor of the viability of the Charter”, or else the “custodian of the principles of the UN”. True, diplomats of major powers are avoiding such characteristics. Yes, in his dual capacity, the Secretary General cannot but have his own opinion and not take a position on major world issues. However, it cannot be said that he is truly free in his statements and actions, since for the most part he must be guided by the collective decisions of the main UN bodies and the opinions of large groups of states.
At the ceremony of swearing in on December 12, 2016, Guterres spoke perfectly adjusted things, avoiding pathos. Will do everything possible to restore confidence in the global organization. Will focus on crisis prevention. It is engaged in the restructuring of the UN development system. Feels the need for her deep reform, for “challenges exceed our ability to respond.” 4 In public statements in the first months of service, the Portuguese continued to avoid too loud words about his large-scale plans and strategies. He clearly wants to act with certainty - let's say, by playing on the win-win thesis that, with personnel appointments, he will be emphatically guided by the idea of gender equality. And he has already made his first deputy an experienced (and what is important - with an international track record) Amina Mohammed from Nigeria.
Guterrish will have to deal with the UN development system from the start - the first area for investing and intellectual effort. Ban Ki-moon turned out to be one of the main champions of the green economy. When it began, "reset" the concept of sustainable development, so that it became more dense and less schematic. But the World Organization has yet to achieve the integration of economic, social and environmental factors, to disseminate rational production and consumption models.
The representative international symposium, held in May 2010 in the city of Delphi (Greece), adopted a special statement on the figure of the head of the UN. It emphatically states that a strong and independent Secretary General is not only desirable, but also “necessary” 9. Such a leader, we will add, is needed by the international community as a moral authority on which to rely in moments of uncertainty and high risks. It is necessary to give a balanced interpretation of events, because government versions are one-sided, and the mass media more and more often looks like a means of propaganda rather than information. It is claimed by the overwhelming majority of states as the face of the Organization, clothed on their common name with a large-scale mission. Tens of thousands of UN staff around the world need to identify with a dynamic and respected Organization. It is necessary, first of all from an ethical position, to civil society, activists who are guided by the UN as a force working for a better future. In a broader sense, it is necessary to maintain the foundations of multilateralism, which, against the background of failures in international relations, threatens to be "stranded." Actual problems are raised in various forums under the auspices of the UN, there are loud rhetoric and correct appeals. But negotiations time and again treading water and lead to the lowest common denominator; the specific actions of the state are trying to delay, hoping that everything is somehow formed. Another thing is that multilateralism in its usual form has been shaped largely by the influence of Western-centrist views on globalization, development, human rights and humanitarian activities. Finding a new combination of values, concepts and aspirations, including the views of the non-Western world, will probably be the message of the UN as a global “cooperative” in the near future.