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British adviser chosen as next UN envoy on Middle East peace process

British adviser chosen as next UN envoy on Middle East peace process

Michael Williams
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed the United Kingdom’s Michael Williams, a long-time United Nations staffer and foreign policy adviser, to the post of Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.

Mr. Williams will also serve as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and his Envoy to the Quartet, the international diplomatic grouping on the Middle East.

Mr. Williams – who replaces Alvaro de Soto of Peru – has been serving as Mr. Ban’s Special Adviser on the situation in the Middle East, and was previously Director of the Asia and the Pacific Division in the UN Department of Political Affairs.

He held several senior UN posts during the early 1990s, including within the then UN Transitional Administration in Cambodia (UNTAC) and the UN Protection Force in the Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR).

Between 1999 and 2005, Mr. Williams served as a special adviser to successive Foreign Secretaries in the British Government, and he has also worked for Amnesty and as a journalist with the BBC.

Mr. Ban, who conveyed his decision on the Middle East envoy in a letter sent yesterday to Security Council members, announced other senior appointments today.

Haile Menkerios of Eritrea – who is currently the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – becomes the new Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, succeeding Tuliameni Kalomoh of Namibia.

South Africa’s Nicholas Haysom has been chosen as the next Director for Political Affairs in Mr. Ban’s Executive Office, replacing Carlos Lopes of Guinea-Bissau. Mr. Haysom served most recently as head of the Office of Constitutional Support in the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).