For Next UN Secretary-General, A Managerially Incompetent Socialist
In the race for the next United Nations secretary-general, the Security Council has narrowed the field of candidates from a remaining 10 to precisely one: and the winner is, former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres. It could have been worse -- but not by much. Guterres brings to the job a record that suggests he is a perfect fit to head a UN that is prone to overreach, mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse and government meddling in every aspect of life -- provided we all want even more of the same.
That's not what you're reading in most press reports right now, where news of Guterres as top pick for the next UN secretary-general seems to consist largely of recycled public relations materials from the UN, related officials, and the Portuguese government. Guterres was roundly praised on Wednesday by Russia's ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin ("we have a clear favorite") and America's Ambassador Samantha Power (who called Guterres "a candidate whose experience, vision and versatility across a range of areas proved compelling").
So who is this man, Antonio Guterres, who so impressed the UN envoys of both Presidents Putin and Obama?
Along with a stint as prime minister of Portugal from 1995-2002, Guterres also served as president of the Socialist International, from 1999-2005, following a stint as vice-president of the organization from 1992-1999. As the Daily Caller reminds us, the Socialist International is "a global network of national socialist parties seeking to establish 'democratic socialism' around the world," an endeavor that in the late 1980s included funding the communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
From 2005-2015, Guterres served as high commissioner of the UN agency for refugees (UNHCR), garnering experience which he and the Portuguese government advertised as one of his chief qualifications to head the UN Secretariat. In nominating Guterres for the post of UN secretary-general, Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa wrote that Guterres throughout his tenure as the UN's high commissioner for refugees "showed exemplary understanding of and respect for the values of the United Nations," ushering in all sorts of marvelous "reform and innovation."
That sounds great, except the UN's own auditors took a far less laudatory view of Guterres's performance. This April the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services issued an audit report identifying a series of "critical" lapses by the UNHCR under Guterres's management. That audit was obtained by Fox News editor-at-large George Russell, who published a story on June 7 headlined "UN refugee agency handed over hundreds of millions to partners without monitoring."