Senior German official named to head UN mission in Guatemala

Senior German official named to head UN mission in Guatemala

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a senior German official as head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), a UN spokesman said today in New York.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a senior German official as head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), a UN spokesman said today in New York.

Effective 1 August, Tom Königs will replace Gerd Merrem as Mr. Annan's Special Representative in Guatemala and head of the Mission.

Mr. Merrem has led MINUGUA since August 2000 and the Secretary-General today thanked him for his "excellent service and distinguished career" at the UN, the spokesman said in a statement.

"During the last two years at the head of MINUGUA, Mr. Merrem encouraged political alliances around the peace agenda and mobilized all to ensure the irreversibility of the peace process in Guatemala," the statement said

Since August 1999, Mr. Königs has been the Deputy Special Representative for Civil Administration of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Between 1993 and 1997, he was the Frankfurt city treasurer, focusing on systematically increasing the efficiency of public services and modernizing the city's administration.

Earlier Mr. Königs headed Frankfurt's Environmental Protection Department with oversight for environmental protection, sewage management, the fire department and the energy supply. In 1995, he helped create the first Ministry for Environmental Protection of the federal state of Hesse.