The United Nations’ new secretary general, Antonio Guterres, who will take office Jan. 1, has pinpointed his top goal: “a surge in diplomacy for peace.” With the crucible of Aleppo revealing ruptures in the international order, Guterres faces a huge challenge: can he stand up to the United States and Russia, as an earlier secretary general, U Thant, did in the Cuban missile crisis, and make the UN a decisive instrument for peace? The ramifications for Canada are enormous.

Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal and most latterly the head of the UN refugee agency, doesn’t have an army at his disposal, but he has the power to influence political leaders to fulfil their responsibilities to stop the massacres and huge displacements of people, such as we have seen in Syria. To be successful, Guterres must be a general, not just a secretary.

Read more on Hill Times: What the UN’s next secretary general must do to succeed, and how Canada can help by Douglas Rouche, MPI founder