Guterres, António

Guterres, António (António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres), 1949–, Portuguese political leader, secretary-general of the United Nations (2017–), b. Lisbon, grad. Instituto Superior Ténico, Univ. of Lisbon (1971). After a brief stint as an assistant professor of physics, he entered politics, joining the Socialist party in 1974, and was elected to parliament in 1976. In 1992 he became party leader, and after the Socialists won a plurality of seats in 1995 (and again in 1999) he became prime minister. His first term was marked by economic growth and increased privatization of state-owned business; negotiations to return Macau to Chinese sovereignty were also completed. In his second term an economic slowdown and other difficulties contributed to Socialist losses in local elections in 2001, and he resigned as prime minister and party leader, though he remained in both offices until successors were chosen in 2002. He also served as president of the Socialist International from 1999 to 2005, when he became United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a post he held until 2015. In 2016 he was chosen to succeed Ban Ki-Moon as UN secretary-general.

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