26 September 2017

Africa: Antonio Guterres' Vision for Humanity

The Secretary General wants a UN that focuses more on people than bureaucracy.

If all dreams were reality, then the world would be in for positive changes during and after the tenure of Antonio Guterres as Secretary General of the United Nations. The 68-year-old Portuguese is burming with enthusiasm notably to refocus the international organisation more on people than bureaucracy. He worked tooth and nail and obtained the blessings of over a hundred member States; Cameroon inclusive, to spearhead his wide-ranging reforms of the UN Systems. The first move he undertook after assuming duty was to reconfigure his own office to place more emphasis on strategic integration and better coordination for efficient decision-making. Member States' blessings which he needed to engage other reforms notably a review of the Peace and Security Architecture, the Development and Management Systems, the Counter-terrorism System and UN response to sexual exploitation and abuses committed by its personnel as well as gender parity within the organisation were served him on a platter of gold on the sidelines of the just-ended 72nd UN Ordinary General Assembly. They christened it "Political Declaration." With the green light now on, Antonio Guterres will thus strive to realize his dream of, "change in order to secure the promise of sustainable development, human rights and peace for our grandchildren." He has enveloped all this in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which he qualifies as, "the boldest agenda for humanity." The vision presented to the Economic and Social Council in July this year and re-echoed during the just-ended session revolves around eight ideas. It consists in accelerating the transition of the UN development system from the Millennium Development Goals to the 2030 Agenda, enhancing the effectiveness of UN Country teams for unity, coherence and better accountability.

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