António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations
António Guterres is at the forefront of fighting the climate emergency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Why you should listen

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, has had a long and varied career in public service rooted in one overarching imperative: to promote human dignity for all.

Whether working as a volunteer in the poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon or representing his constituency in the Portuguese parliament, and from his years as Prime Minister to his service as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Guterres has sought to ease suffering, protect the vulnerable and ensure human rights for all. These priorities have remained at the core of his efforts today as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Since taking office January 2017, he has worked to promote peace, advance prevention, combat hatred and mobilize ambition in fighting the climate emergency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Guterres has also recognized the need for the United Nations itself to be more innovative and effective, and has set in motion wide-ranging reforms to make full use of new technology and to enhance agility, transparency and accountability. He has also pressed to make the organization more equal, including through gender parity -- with major milestones met well ahead of schedule -- and improved geographical representation.    

Mr. Guterres has proclaimed himself a proud multilateralist. "But international cooperation cannot be taken for granted." he has stressed. "We must prove its value by addressing the real problems people face."

Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. He is married to Catarina de Almeida Vaz Pinto, Deputy Mayor for Culture of Lisbon, and has two children, a stepson and three grandchildren.

António Guterres’ TED talks

More news and ideas from António Guterres


Urgency: Notes from Session 1 of the Countdown Global Launch

October 10, 2020

Countdown is a global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. Watch the talks, interviews and performances from the Countdown Global Launch at Today, 10.10.2020, is the climate’s day of destiny: the Countdown Global Launch, a call to action on climate change and the first-ever free TED conference. Launching Countdown means asking ourselves […]

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TED and Future Stewards announce Countdown, a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis

September 14, 2020

Prince William, His Holiness Pope Francis, Yemi Alade, Monica Araya, Xiye Bastida, Jesper Brodin, Don Cheadle, Dave Clark, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, António Guterres, Chris Hemsworth, Kara Hurst, Lisa Jackson, Rose Mutiso, Johan Rockström, Prince Royce, Mark Ruffalo, Sigrid, Jaden Smith, Nigel Topping and Ursula von der Leyen join scientists, activists, artists, schools and leaders […]

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In Brief

How small lies turn into big lies, what everyday objects tell us about inequality, and robots that lend a helping hand during disasters

November 4, 2016

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: The cascading effect of small lies. Tali Sharot is the senior author on a paper published in Nature Neuroscience that sheds light on the possible slippery-slope effect of telling small, self-serving lies. Using an fMRI scanning device to monitor the […]

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