WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, released the following statement Thursday after the United Nations Security Council voted to recommend to the General Assembly that Antonio Guterres, the former Portuguese prime minister and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, be elected as the ninth U.N. Secretary-General. The General Assembly is widely expected to confirm the Security Council’s nomination of Mr. Guterres:
“Mr. Guterres’ deep knowledge of international affairs and his relationships with world leaders, as well as his empathetic passion for advancing the rights, dignity, and security of all people and his diverse political and consensus-building experiences, all make him an exceptional choice to lead the United Nations at this pivotal time. I offer him my sincerest congratulations.
“In particular, Mr. Guterres’ invaluable experience leading the U.N. refugee agency for a decade during a time of proliferating conflicts and dislocation will contribute immensely to the organization’s efforts in stemming the worst refugee crisis the world has experienced in 70 years.
““The U.N. is a strategic partner in bolstering U.S. national security interests at home and abroad, and I look forward to working with Mr. Guterres on a wide range of issues, including my priorities of combatting corruption, ensuring good governance, and protecting human rights.
“Finally, let me also thank Ban Ki-moon for his principled and energetic leadership as U.N. Secretary-General over the last ten years, particularly his efforts to address climate change through clean energy solutions and for consistently giving voice to the world’s poor and endangered.”