Guterres Urged to Restore UN Authority

If the UN role that has waned during Ban's tenure is not restored, it would shatter confidence in this organization
Bahram QasemiBahram Qasemi

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson highlighted the distinguished track record of the newly-appointed UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, calling on him to draw on his long experience to restore the world body's authority.

"The world at the current juncture is going through complicated and fast-paced developments and unless we overcome the numerous ongoing conflicts through building consensus and collective cooperation under the UN auspices, the world would plunge into further chaos and face more complicated crises," Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by ISNA on Saturday.

"In view of this, we hope that the new secretary-general of the United Nations will show strong resolve and work tirelessly to revive and restore the undermined international role of this global institution."

Guterres was Portugal's prime minister from 1995 to 2002 and UN high commissioner for refugees from 2005 to 2015.

Guterres, 67, will replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea. Ban will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms.

Lawmaker Hossein Naqavi Hosseini echoed Qasemi's call, saying Guterres is "expected to steer the UN back to fully upholding its charter and meet his responsibilities to help promote peace and human rights situation in the world."

Qasemi criticized Ban's performance, which he said was influenced by "hegemonic powers".

  Eroded Confidence

If the UN role that has waned during Ban's tenure is not restored, it would shatter the countries' confidence in this organization," he said. The 15-member UN Security Council last week unanimously recommended that the general assembly appoint Guterres.

He beat out 12 other candidates, seven of whom were women, amid a push for the first woman to be elected. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent Guterres a letter of congratulations on his election on Thursday.

"I have the pleasure to express my heartfelt congratulation to you on your well-deserved election as the next secretary-general of the United Nations," he said.

"At the critical time that you will assume the leadership of our organization, it is imperative that the United Nations engage in the crucial fight against all aspects of violent extremism and play effectively and efficiently its part in efforts toward finding peaceful and locally-owned solutions for the ongoing crises in Yemen and Syria."

The top diplomat also urged the UN chief to help facilitate the implementation of Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers, which went into force in January to give it sanctions relief in return for curtailing its nuclear program.

"Likewise, following the fruition of JCPOA in Iran's nuclear file, which enhanced hope in our region, we look forward to the United Nations, under your guidance, to help and follow up on the full implementation of the deal in its entirety by all parties," he said. Zarif used an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of the accord.

Guterres has pledged to act as an "honest broker" and said he would take a humble approach in trying to deal with global issues, with human dignity at the core of his work.

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