The newly appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, gave his first major public address in front of 1,500 people attending an event hosted by the UN Association of the UK (UNA-UK) at Central Hall Westminster on 10 May. The London venue’s 2,400 capacity Great Hall hosted the event.
Guterres, who took office on 1 January 2017, gave a 20-minute public address on the need to reform global institutions, which was followed by an interactive session.
Prior to his appointment, Guterres served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2005-2015), earning a reputation for ‘speaking truth to power’, and as prime minister of Portugal (1995-2002), during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.
Paul Southern, managing director of Central Hall Westminster, says: “Central Hall has long been associated with the United Nations, having hosted its first ever meeting at our historic venue back in 1946.
“Our venue also hosted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for a public address in February last year as part of the UN’s 70th anniversary celebrations. We were therefore absolutely delighted to welcome António Guterres for his first ever public address. It will be yet another event held at Central Hall which will go down in history.”