|New York, NY – October 13, 2016
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) welcomes today’s appointment of Mr. António Guterres as Secretary General Designate of the United Nations (UN). Serving a constituency of some 600 million evangelicals around the world, the WEA is committed to continuing to work with the UN on a wide range of issues, from the global down to the grass roots level.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA, said: “We are delighted to hear that a person with Mr. Guterres’ competency, integrity and a heart for the most vulnerable will be serving the global community of Nations. It is a very challenging task that he has at hand, and we pray for God’s blessing, wisdom and strength to be on him as he seeks to serve a hurting world.”
With its United Nations teams in New York and Geneva, the WEA has long been engaged in a range of issues from human trafficking, poverty and other social justice issues to peace & reconciliation, human rights and religious freedom. Last year, the WEA together with the Refugee Highway Partnership also launched a special task force on refugees to coordinate efforts of its regional and national Alliances, local churches and Christian organizations, as they seek to respond to the needs of an ever-increasing number of refugees around the world.
Serving as UN High Commissioner on Refugees until last year, Mr. Guterres repeatedly highlighted the important contribution of faith-based organizations to offer hope to the vulnerable, create and maintain a positive attitude of respecting the dignity of foreigners and refugees, to help address root-causes of displacement and contribute to peace and reconciliation.
“As people of faith, we appreciate how Mr. Guterres has acknowledged the critical role of faith-based organizations on issues such as the global refugee crisis, and we are committed to fulfilling our part in responding to the needs and challenges on a local, national, regional and global level,” Bp Tendero said, and added: “As WEA, we call upon churches and believers around the world to join us in prayer for Mr. Guterres as he prepares to take up his new role at the beginning of 2017. Pray that God would use him and the UN to lessen the suffering in our world, and in humility serve those who are most vulnerable.”