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UN Appoints Staffan De Mistura To Top Iraq Post

UN Secretary-General Appoints Staffan De Mistura To Top Post In Iraq

By Andreas von Warburg

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced his intention to appoint Staffan de Mistura of Sweden as his Special Representative in Baghdad and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), as anticipated by Scoop.

De Mistura, currently head of the United Nations System Staff College in Turin, will be taking over from Ashraf Qazi, appointed yesterday as the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan. De Mistura will work closely with a the newly appointed Deputy Special Representative for Iraq, David Shearer of New Zealand.

The announcement was made earlier today at the UN Headquarters during a briefing of the spokesperson of the Secretary-General, Michelle Montas. Ban informed the Security Council of his decision yesterday, with a letter address to the Council’s rotating President, Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert of France.

De Mistura was chosen over strong candidates from UN Member States actively involved in Iraq. Candidates for the top position included Lebanon’s former Minister Ghassan Salame and Italy’s former Ambassador in Baghdad, Gianludovico de Martino.

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, in January 1947, de Mistura joined the United Nations system in 1970, when he worked for the World Food Programme in Sudan. Prior to his appointments in Lebanon first and Iraq later, de Mistura was Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Rome.

For more than three decades, he has served the United Nations in many capacities mostly related to humanitarian operations in conflict areas. He was Director of Fund-Raising and External Relations of the United Nations Office of the Coordinator for Afghanistan from 1988 to 1991, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Albania in 1990, Director of the World Food Programme operations in Sudan in 1987 and as the Food and Agriculture Organization's Deputy Chef de Cabinet, from 1976 to 1985. In addition, he was given special humanitarian assignments to Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Viet Nam and the Lao People's Democratic Republic.


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