Analyst: New UN leader may help reset relations with PH


Posted at Jan 03 2017 06:29 PM

The assumption of former Portugal Prime Minister António Guterres as new United Nations Secretary General may lead to a reset in the relations between the Philippines and the international body, an analyst said. 

ANC resident analyst Richard Heydarian on Tuesday noted that Guterres' track record shows that he is a "consensus-builder," someone who can be vocal when it's necessary, but someone who can also work from behind the scenes to build consensus on issues when it's necessary.

"Here, you have an opportunity for reset. Here, you have someone who has a very established record--three decades record of being a professional politician in terms of building consensus and working from behind the scenes," he said on [email protected]

There may be some effort from the new leader to first deal with concerns on the Philippines' war on drugs and alleged human rights violations "from behind the scenes and build a new consensus with the Philippine government," Heydarian said. 

Heydarian believes Guterres will first try to find a common ground with the Duterte administration before upping the ante, which will be different from the tack taken by his predecessor, Ban Ki-Moon.

However, Heydarian also foresees that if the administration and the UN fail to reach common ground, particularly on the issue of the UN special rapporteur's mission to the country, Guterres "can mobilize more international pressure against the Philippines."

"This is a much more capable, much more pragmatic person and therefore I think the Duterte administration has to have a different strategy of dealing with the United Nations, not the way that they have with the previous Ban Ki-Moon leadership," he said.