António Guterres, Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lisbon
On 19 February, António Guterres, UN Secretary-General and former Prime Minister of Portugal, was distinguished with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Lisbon.
The proposal for this distinction was presented by IST - Instituto Superior Técnico, the institution where António Guterres studied and worked as a professor.
In his acceptance speech, he left a series of strong messages, especially for the academic and scientific communities. "Learning to learn" was the message that he wanted to pass on to the students, because "what is going to happen in the coming decades is unpredictable" and "the contents they will study will quickly become outdated". He addressed the issue of the "ethical dilemma of cyberspace" and its fast progress, which doesn't always allow enough time for regulation.
"The next war will be preceded by a massive cyber attack aimed at paralyzing the enemy", he said.
Also within the scope of the regulation of new technologies, he called for "women and men of science" to learn how to use artificial intelligence for the benefit of Science, an area that will require the various states to be better prepared "to make big investments".
For the past 10 years, António Guterres held the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2016 he was appointed as the highest-ranking official within that entity, and took office as Secretary-General on 1 January 2017.
Image credits: University of Lisbon