António Guterres

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Oliveira and the second or paternal family name is Guterres.
His Excellency
António Guterres
António Guterres meeting with Iranian Interior Minister 01.jpg
10th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
In office
15 June 2005 – 31 December 2015
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Preceded by Ruud Lubbers
Succeeded by Filippo Grandi
114th Prime Minister of Portugal
In office
28 October 1995 – 6 April 2002
President Mário Soares
Jorge Sampaio
Preceded by Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Succeeded by José Manuel Barroso
President of the Socialist International
In office
November 1999 – June 2005
Preceded by Pierre Mauroy
Succeeded by George Papandreou
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
In office
23 February 1992 – 20 January 2002
President António de Almeida Santos
Preceded by Jorge Sampaio
Succeeded by Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues
Personal details
Born (1949-04-30) 30 April 1949 (age 67)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Socialist
Spouse(s) Luísa Guimarães e Melo
(m. 1972–1998); died
Catarina Vaz Pinto
(m. 2001–present)


great niece = Caroline Guterres
Alma mater Superior Technical Institute
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Campaign website

About this sound António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres , GCL GCC (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔnju ɡuˈtɛʁɨʃ]; born 30 April 1949) is a former Portuguese politician who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He also served for a time as President of the Socialist International. He served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015.

Early life[edit]

António Guterres was born and raised in Portugal's capital, Lisbon, son of Virgílio Dias Guterres (São José, Lisbon, 21 October 1913 – Lisbon, 10 February 2009) and wife Ilda Cândida de Oliveira (b. Fundão, Donas, 12 February 1923). He studied physics and electrical engineering at IST. He graduated in 1971 and started an academic career as Assistant Professor.

Political career[edit]

His political career started in 1974, when he joined the Socialist Party. Shortly thereafter, he quit academic life and became a full-time politician. In the period following the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, which put an end to Caetano's dictatorship, Guterres was closely involved in the organization of the Socialist Party, especially the Lisbon section. Guterres became one of the party leaders and held the following offices:

  • Head of Office of the Secretary of State of Industry (1974 and 1975)
  • Deputy for Lisbon, and later Castelo Branco in the Portuguese National Parliament (1976–1995), during which he was responsible for several parliamentary commissions
  • Leader of the parliamentary bench of the Socialist Party, succeeding Jorge Sampaio (1988)

In 1992, he became Secretary-General of the Socialist Party and leader of the opposition against Aníbal Cavaco Silva's government. He was also nominated as vice-president of the Socialist International in September 1992.

Following the retirement of Cavaco Silva in 1995, the Socialist Party won the general election and Guterres became Prime Minister of Portugal. With a style markedly different from that of his predecessor, based on dialogue and discussion with all sections of society, Guterres was a popular prime minister in the first years of his government. Portugal was enjoying a solid economic expansion which allowed the Socialists to reduce budget deficits while increasing welfare spending and creating new conditional cash transfer programes. Also important was the successful staging of Expo 98, in Lisbon, which increased Portugal's visibility in the world.

António Guterres in 2003.

Guterres was re-elected in 1999, and from January to July 2000, he occupied the Presidency of the European Council. This second term in government was not as successful however. Internal party conflicts along with a slowdown of the economic growth and the Hintze Ribeiro Bridge disaster damaged his authority and popularity.

In December 2001, following a disastrous result for the Socialist Party in the local elections, Guterres resigned, stating that "I am resigning to prevent the country from falling into a political swamp". President Jorge Sampaio dissolved the Parliament and called for elections. Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, until then Minister for Social Security, assumed the Socialist Party leadership, but the general election was lost to the Social Democratic Party of José Manuel Durão Barroso, who later became President of the European Commission. Guterres retired from Portuguese politics and worked as President of the Socialist International until 2005.

Guterres is a member of the Club of Madrid,[1] an independent non-profit organization composed of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 57 different countries, and which works to strengthen democratic institutions and leadership.

Guterres is currently a candidate to be selected as the next United Nations Secretary-General; he has received the endorsement of the Portuguese government and is currently the betting favorite to be selected.[2][3][4]

Work as High Commissioner for Refugees[edit]

In May 2005 Guterres was elected High Commissioner for Refugees by the UN General Assembly. As High Commissioner, he heads one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations with more than 9,000 staff working in 123 countries providing protection and assistance to over 46 million refugees, returnees, internally displaced people and stateless persons. Some 88 per cent of UNHCR staff work in the field. The organization's 2015 budget is over USD 6.8 billion.

In a 16 February 2007 NPR interview devoted mainly to the plight of Iraqi refugees, he said that this was one of the greatest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948. Among poorly publicized refugee crises, he cited those in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[5] More recently, he has been working to secure international aid for the refugees of the Syrian civil war, calling the refugee crisis an "existential" one for host countries (such as Lebanon and Jordan), and describing additional aid as a "matter of survival" for the refugees.[6] He left office on 31 December 2015.

United Nations Secretary-General selection[edit]

António Guterres is candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations. On February 29, 2016, António Guterres officially submitted his nomination as Portugal's candidate for the 2016 UN Secretary-General selection.[7]

The UN's role in the Haiti cholera outbreak has been widely discussed and criticized[citation needed]. According to the Boston-based Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, the UN is the proximate cause for bringing cholera to Haiti. Peacekeepers sent to Haiti from Nepal were carrying asymptomatic cholera and they did not treat their waste properly before dumping it into Haiti's water stream.[8] During his UNSG informal dialogue, Jamaica, on behalf of the Caribbean Community, asked if the UN should assume liability for any deaths within local populations that result from the introduction of infectious disease by its peacekeepers. Jamaica also asked if Guterres believes compensation should be provided.[9] Gueterres responded by calling the situation a "particularly complex question." He says that it is difficult to preserve diplomatic immunity while also ensuring there is no impunity. but that he would "pay a lot of attention in trying to find the right equilibrium between these two aspects that are absolutely crucial." [9]

Another issue that has been brought up is the sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. This gross problem was brought to light after Anders Kompass exposed the sexual assault of children by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.[10] During the United Nations Secretary General Candidate informal dialogues, Guterres indicated it was completely unacceptable that there be UN forces committing human rights violations such as rape and sexual violence. "All of us together—states and UN—must do utmost to ensure that any kind of action of this type is severely punished," remarked Guterres.[9] The United States raised the question of international tribunals to try peacekeepers for their crimes. Guterres responded by saying an independent jurisdiction would be excellent but that "the only way to get there is through a new compact with all key parties true contributors, financial contributors, and to make sure that there is an adjustment in the relation between countries the UN and the support those that are contributing with troops receive in order to be able to do it much better." [9] He also indicated that there is a gap between theoretical zero-tolerance but ineffective zero-tolerance that actually exists on the ground that needs to overcome.

Other activities[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Being a bright student, he soon draws the attention of the Opus Dei that recruit him.[12][13][14] In 1972, Guterres married Luísa Amélia Guimarães e Melo (b. Porto, 1 September 1946), with whom he had two children, Pedro Guimarães e Melo Guterres (b. 1977) and Mariana Guimarães e Melo de Oliveira Guterres (b. 1985). His wife died of cancer at the Royal Free Hospital in London on 28 January 1998.

In 2001, he married his second wife Catarina Marques de Almeida Vaz Pinto, born on 15 June 1960. He has a stepson, natural son of his second wife by José Carlos da Costa Ramos, named Francisco Vaz Pinto da Costa Ramos, born on 20 May 1998.



  1. ^ The Club of Madrid is an independent non-profit organization composed of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 57 different countries. It constitutes the world´s largest forum of former Heads of State and Government, who have come together to respond to a growing demand for support among leaders in democratic leadership, governance, crisis and post-crisis situations. All lines of work share the common goal of building functional and inclusive societies, where the leadership experience of the members is most valuable.
  2. ^ The Associated Press (2016-01-22). "Portugal to Nominate Antonio Guterres as UN Chief". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  3. ^ Portugal, Grand Union. "Portugal Presents The Candidature of António Guterres to un Secretary-general". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  4. ^ "NEXT UN SECRETARY GENERAL : WORLD POLITICS". Bet Breaking News. Retrieved 8 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Interview with António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, 16 February 2007, Weekend Edition-Saturday,
  6. ^ Alrababa'h, Ala'; Jarrar, Ghazi (18 August 2013). "Syrian Refugees: Time To Do The Right Thing". Sharnoff's Global Views. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  7. ^ António Guterres Candidate for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations. Accessed 15 September 2016
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d
  10. ^
  11. ^ António Guterres Club of Madrid.
  12. ^ .html
  13. ^
  14. ^!topic /pt.soc.politica/CvCpejc0OvA
  15. ^ a b "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Estrangeiras". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  18. ^ Quirinale website
  19. ^ Boletin Oficial del Estado
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jorge Sampaio
Secretary General of the Socialist Party
Succeeded by
Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues
Preceded by
Pierre Mauroy
President of the Socialist International
Succeeded by
George Papandreou
Political offices
Preceded by
Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Prime Minister of Portugal
Succeeded by
José Manuel Barroso
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ruud Lubbers
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Succeeded by
Filippo Grandi