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Portuguese bishops applaud Guterres nomination as UN secretary-general

The Portuguese Bishops Conference praised former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres for his ‘deep sense of humanity and faith’ after he was nominated as United Nations secretary-general.

‘We hope he can face with courage, dialogue and resolutions all the great challenges on the world agenda today, always seeking peace, peaceful resolutions and the development of friendly relations among nations, as stated at the beginning of the United Nations Charter,’ the bishops said in a statement on 6th October.

The UN General Assembly is expected to meet this week to approve Guterres’ five-year appointment. He will succeed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea early next year.

A member of Portugal’s Socialist Party and a fervent Catholic, Guterres, 67, was one of the founders of the Franciscan-backed Grupo da Luz (Light Group) in the early 1970s while still a college student in Lisbon. The group worked with poor people living in Portugal’s capital. Among his colleagues within the group was Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portugal’s current president.

Picture: Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres speaks during a news conference at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon on 6th October after being nominated as United Nations secretary-general. The Portuguese Bishops Conference praised Guterres for his ‘deep sense of humanity and faith’ after his nomination. (CNS photo/Rafael Marchante, Reuters).