Senior UN official nominated as Secretary-General’s top envoy to Iraq

7 July 2009

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that he has chosen the second most senior official in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to be the UN’s top envoy in Iraq.

Mr. Ban has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Ad Melkert, who has served as Associate Administrator of UNDP since 2006, to succeed Staffan de Mistura as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq and head of the UN mission in that country (UNAMI), UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

Ms. Montas said that Mr. Melkert, 53, brought a unique combination of political experience and economic and development expertise to the role from his work as a government minister and member of parliament in the Netherlands and as a senior official at UNDP and the World Bank.

“As a result, he enters with a deep understanding of the nature of the challenges and priorities that face Iraq at this phase of its transition,” she said.

Ms. Montas said Mr. Ban was also grateful to Mr. de Mistura for his “valuable leadership in a challenging security environment in Iraq.”

UNAMI is tasked with assisting in the reconstruction of Iraq, the implementation of the International Compact with Iraq and the process of national reconciliation and inclusive political dialogue.

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