Patrick Grady

Scottish National Party MP and International Development spokesperson Patrick Grady has welcomed the nomination of Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as the new Secretary General of the United Nations.

Mr Guterres has led the UNHRC for the past 10 years. The UN General Assembly is expected to meet and approve his appointment next week, with Guterres taking over from Ban Ki -moon early next year.

Commenting, Patrick Grady MP said: “Antonio Guterres brings with him a wealth of experience, particularly regarding the refugee crisis, and I wish him the very best in the new role.

“One of his first aims in the job must be bringing about an end to the war in Syria. Just today, UN Envoy Steffan de Mistura told the media he fears Eastern Aleppo will be completely destroyed within two months.

“Antonio Guterres repeatedly warned that millions of refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan would turn to Europe if nations like Turkey and Jordan did not receive more help, and now, unless dramatic changes are made, the UK Government could widely miss its goal of resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 - a goal which itself is too little in the context of the challenge Europe faces.

“The SNP Scottish Government has led the way in the UK on practical support for refugees - not only by ensuring Scotland has taken in more than its proportionate share of refugees under the Syrian Resettlement Programme, but also by launching Scotland’s refugee taskforce with £1million of funding and providing £375,000 in aid to support humanitarian activity in southern Europe. We now need a commitment from Theresa May -   we need a concerted effort to improve how the UK is dealing with, and continues to deal with the refugee crisis.”

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