25 May 2005

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Proposes Appointment of António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Former Prime Minister of Portugal, as High Commissioner for Refugees

NEW YORK, 24 May (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan today proposed to the General Assembly the appointment of António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of Portugal as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for a term of three years effective 15 June 2005.

Mr. Guterres is currently President of the Socialist International, a position he has held since 1999.  Since 2003, he has also been an Advisor to the Board of Portugal’s second largest bank, Caixa Geral de Depósitos.

He is an invited professor of the Instituto Superior Técnico, responsible for the Chairs of Sustainable Development and Innovation.

Mr. Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1996 to 2002.  He was also a Member of the Portuguese Parliament from 1976 to 1983 and from 1985 to 1995.  In addition, from 1981 to 1983, Mr. Guterres was a Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.

Apart from an extensive political, professional and academic curriculum, as well as a number of publications, Mr. Guterres has also been involved in the activities of many non-governmental organizations.  He was a founding member, for example, of the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991.  He is also a Member of the Club of Madrid and of the Ibero-American Forum.

Mr. Guterres has a technical background in engineering and a degree in engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico, in Portugal.  He also had an academic experience in the mid-1970s as an Assistant Professor of Physics and Telecommunications.

Mr. Guterres was born on 30 April 1949 in Lisbon.  He is married and has two children.

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