MANILA, Philippines – United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with the staff of its the UN's agencies in the Philippines on Monday, November 13.
Guterres is in Manila to represent the UN at the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits. The world body is a dialogue partner of the regional bloc, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
It is the UN chief’s first time to visit the Philippines. A former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Gutteres took on the top UN post just this January, succeeding Ban Ki-Moon.
During his meeting with UN staff in his hotel, Guterres reminded them of their aim to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to push for the rights of the people displaced by violence and conflict.
According to UN-Philippines, Guterres spent the day in bilateral meetings. He is also scheduled to attend the 9th ASEAN-UN Summit on Monday evening.
Guterres visits the Philippines amid the backdrop of the humanitarian challenges in the aftermath of the Marawi crisis, which has left the said city in ruins after nearly 5 months of urban warfare between terrorists and government security troops.
He also visits the country after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the world body several times in the past for criticisms of some top UN officials over the deadly war on drugs.
Guterres was welcomed by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque when he arrived in Manila on Sunday morning, November 12. He met Duterte later in the day during the ASEAN 50th anniversary gala dinner. – Rappler.com