New UNSG Guterres Issues Statement on Death of Portugal’s President Mário Soares

UNITED NATIONS, January 7 ( -- New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has issued the statement below, in his own name, on the death of Portugal's former President Mário Soares.

Statement by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

New York, 7 January 2017

It was with deep emotion and an acute sense of loss that I learned of the passing of President Mário Soares.

I wish first of all to convey to his family — in particular to his daughter, son, and grandchildren — my deepest and warmest condolences. I have spoken with his daughter Isabel and son João, to whom I conveyed my sympathy at this painful moment.

Mário Soares has left an indelible mark on political life in Portugal, the result of his steadfast and courageous political commitment and the principles and values that he consistently pursued throughout his life. Liberty was always his foundational value. To a great extent, we are indebted to him for the democracy, the freedom and the respect for fundamental rights that all Portuguese have been able to enjoy in recent decades, and that are today established values in our country.

I pay tribute to Mário Soares who will, I am certain, remain in our memory and in the history of our country as a man of freedom, who wanted all to live in liberty, and fought for his entire life to realise that hope.

But Mário Soares’ legacy goes far beyond Portugal. This is not only because he was responsible for Portugal’s full integration into the international community. But also because his commitment to freedom and democracy make him one of those rare political leaders of true European and global stature.

New York, 7 January 2017

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