Ban Ki-moon names top aides to deal with poor countries, information technology

6 July 2007

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named the Ambassador of Mali to the United Nations as his top aide dealing with the world’s most vulnerable countries and appointed a veteran information technology professional from the Republic of Korea as the world body’s new Chief IT Officer.

Cheikh Sidi Diarra of Mali will serve as the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, succeeding Anwarul Chowdhury, a spokesperson for Mr. Ban announced today.

Spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York that the full mobilization of the UN system in support of these countries is a high priority for the Secretary-General and reflects his commitment to the developmental objectives of the UN. She said the new High Representative would also serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Mr. Diarra has over 25 years of professional experience in international relations, law and development. He has been actively involved in furthering African integration efforts and the African development agenda, and has long engaged in multilateral diplomacy.

Choi Soon-hong of the Republic of Korea was named Chief IT Officer, responsible for all substantive and operational needs on information and communication technologies of the United Nations, Ms. Okabe said. He is the first person to serve in the post, which was created by the General Assembly in July 2006 as part of a reform package.

Mr. Choi has 30 years of technical and management experience in the public and private sectors. He joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1981 and has served as its Head of Information Technology Services since 2004. He also has experience in the private sector.

 

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