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Ban Ki-moon names Australian as senior UN counter-terrorism official

Ban Ki-moon names Australian as senior UN counter-terrorism official

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council that he intends to appoint Australian Mike Smith as the new head of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee’s Executive Directorate.

Mr. Smith would replace Javier Ruperez of Spain, who stepped down as Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate in June.

The position was established by the Security Council in a resolution in 2004 to bolster the 15-member body’s ability to monitor the implementation of a landmark resolution adopted in the wake of the September 2001 attacks on the United States, which calls on countries to adopt a number of measures to enhance their ability to counter terrorist activities nationally, regionally and globally.

The Council also intended the Executive Director post – which is at the Assistant Secretary-General level – to improve Member States’ counter-terrorism capacities by facilitating the provision of technical assistance as well as promoting cooperation and coordination with international, regional and sub-regional organizations.

Currently, Mr. Smith serves as Australia’s Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, and he previously held senior diplomatic postings in such countries as Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and the United States.

From 2002 to 2006, he was his country’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, and from 1998 to 2002, he served as Chief of Staff to Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.