UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was sworn in for a second term on Friday as head of the world body, promising to draw on the lessons of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our greatest challenge — and which is at the same time our greatest opportunity — is to use this crisis to turn the tide, pivot towards a world that learns lessons,” the former Portuguese prime minister said as the General Assembly reappointed him for the 2022-2026 term.

This, Guterres added, would include promoting a “just, green and sustainable recovery” which shows the way forward “through increased and effective international cooperation to address global issues.”

In office since 2017, Guterres promised to act independently of member states and organisations during the swearing-in ceremony attended by Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the first head of state to set foot in the United Nations building for more than a year because of the pandemic.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021

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