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António Guterres

Previous High Commissioners

António Guterres

Portugal | 2005-2015

Not only have we reached the highest level of displacement since the Second World War, but most amazing is how things have been accelerating in the last few years. Last year, conflicts displaced 42,500 people per day.

In 2005, António Guterres was elected by the UN General Assembly to become the 10th High Commissioner for Refugees, serving for a decade until the end of 2015. Before joining UNHCR, Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He was Portuguese prime minister from 1995 to 2002, and briefly presided over the European Council in early 2000. He also founded the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991.

During his tenure, Guterres oversaw the most profound structural reform process in UNHCR’s history and built up our organization’s capacity to respond to some of the largest displacement crises since the end of World War Two.

On 13 October 2016 António Guterres was appointed by the General Assembly as the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, for a five-year term from 1 January 2017.


Selection of OpEds and articles by the High Commissioner published in international media.