UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres vowed that he would stand against ‘any perceptions’ of what he called ‘anti-Israel bias’ at the world organization.
Guterres said he would “guarantee” that those working under him would abide by ‘principles that he considers right.’
“As secretary general of the United Nations I consider that the state of Israel needs to be treated as any other state,” he said to applause at the World Jewish Congress in New York.
“I have already had the opportunity to show that I’m ready to abide by that principle even when that forces me to take some decisions that create some uncomfortable situations,” he added.
Former UN official and Jordanian national Rima Khalaf last month said Guterres asked her to withdraw a report in which she accused the Zionist entity of being an apartheid state and subsequently resigned.
The UN chief nonetheless said: “That does not mean that I will always be in agreement with all the decisions that are taken at any moment by any government that exists in Israel.”
Guterres promised that he would be “in the frontline” in the struggle against anti-Semitism, which he warned was on the rise in Europe and America, and called “absolutely unacceptable.”
He promised to “make sure that the United Nations is able to conduct all possible actions for anti-Semitism to be condemned, and if possible eradicated from the face of the earth.”
His 15-minute speech was interrupted by applause at least 11 times. The former Portuguese prime minister was also given a standing ovation.