SOAS University of London

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to speak at SOAS on counter-terrorism and human rights

6 November 2017

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, will speak on Counter-terrorism and human rights: winning the fight while upholding our values at SOAS University of London on 16 November followed by a conversation with the audience.

UN Secretary General


The talk will be hosted and moderated by the Director of SOAS, Baroness Valerie Amos CH, and forms the second in series of three major public talks by the Secretary-General – the first of which took place at New York University earlier this year in May.

António Guterres took office on 1 January 2017. Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organisations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.

Before joining UNHCR, Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.