Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, with Antonio Guterres after the swearing-in ceremony
Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in Monday as Secretary-General of the United Nations on December 12th 2016, becoming the ninth U.N. chief in the body’s 71-year history.
Guterres, 67, was a socialist Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995-2002 and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005-December 2015.
Political pundits predict a more prosperous political career for Guterres than his beleaguered predecessor. Guterres was formerly UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He served in that post for ten years. He is prepared for what is in store. The mass migration of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and Africans to Europe is the history of the Continent.
The Permanent UN Security Council comprising US, Russia, China, Britain and France will keep a close eye on Guterres. Millions of migrants are concerned. Germany is already sending some back. Britain refuses to take in a set quota. The Calais Jungle made the headlines several times in 2016. The majority of some 11,000 inmates wanted to cross to Britain. The Cross-Channel Tunnel was blocked on several occasions. Eurostar departures were delayed. Ultimately the Jungle was bulldozed and the inmates scattered across the Continent.
Ironically, Iran is a founding member of the United Nations. Can Tehran revive cooperation with the multi-national body? UN is useful to say the least. Iran is currently harbouring some 2.5 million Afghans. Some have settled and taken Iranian wives. Others come and go.
Some 19 UN agencies are currently based in Iran. Their staff is helpful and disinterested.
Iran is the crossroad for some Tons 4,000 – Tons 5,000 of Opium. Some is consumed here but much of it makes its way to Europe and beyond. There are some 300 thousand – ۴۰۰ thousand addicts in Iran. Add another 500 thousand leisurely opium users. It’s a chronic problem. What is the answer? Offender or ailing, incarceration or rehabilitation?
Iran is working closely with UN agencies. Whether in the development of industry and agriculture or the countless other agencies including UNICEF and UNESCO, Iran is encouraging modern industrial nations to invest in the country. Keeping the door open and rapprochement.
Iran must come out of isolation and avoid making brash statements on what doesn’t concern us. We must tread the proven path of close ties with our neighbours, constant cooperation andensure that terrorism doesn’t creep into our borders. We all need help and everybody needs somebody: Make sure that entente, accord, understanding, alliances and agreement continue on the international stage. The United Nations is instrumental in making it happen. Whether it is the
International Conference on Sustainable Development, Climate Change or other major platforms for cooperation, Iran must be represented.
Peace, durable peace, eradication of poverty, the role of UN in bringing the Eight Years’ War with Iraq to a close: These are landmarks in our history. Never again. Safeguarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Europe, US, China and Russia: A remarkable achievement in itself which to this day is helping to rekindle and reanimate are sluggish Economy!