General Assembly formally elects new refugee High Commissioner

27 May 2005

The General Assembly today officially elected former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres as the 10th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mr. Guterres will begin his five-year term on 15 June, succeeding Ruud Lubbers of the Netherlands, who resigned on 20 February as chief of the refugee agency amid a media furore over allegations against him of sexual harassment, which he denied.

The search process for a new High Commissioner conducted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan including seeking the input of not only the Governments of Member States but also non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in refugee assistance work and other parties from civil society.

In other news, the Assembly also decided that the theme of the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, to take place from 27 to 28 June at UN Headquarters in New York, would be “The Monterrey Consensus, status of implementation and tasks ahead.”


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