Secretary-General to appoint new UN envoys for Lebanon, Cyprus

Secretary-General to appoint new UN envoys for Lebanon, Cyprus

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Johan Verbeke of Belgium as the new United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Tayé-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia as the world body’s top official in Cyprus.

Since September 2004, Mr. Verbeke has been Belgium’s Ambassador to the UN, and, in this capacity, he has served on the Security Council and on the Peacebuilding Commission.

He would replace Geir Pedersen of Norway as the senior official coordinating the UN’s work in Lebanon.

Mr. Zerihoun would replace Michael Møller as Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Cyprus and head of the UN Peacekeeping Force there, known as UNFICYP.

Established in March 1964 following the outbreak of violence between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the Mediterranean island, UNFICYP is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, contributing to a return to normal conditions and the maintenance of law and order.

Mr. Zerihoun is currently the Secretary-General’s Principal Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). He has also been serving as Chief UN Mediator for the Darfur Peace Talks since October 2007, in support of the efforts of Special Envoy Jan Eliasson.