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Ban names veteran staffer from Malaysia to lead UN peacebuilding efforts

Ban names veteran staffer from Malaysia to lead UN peacebuilding efforts

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Judy Cheng-Hopkins (Left)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Judy Cheng-Hopkins of Malaysia to head United Nations efforts to assist countries coming out of conflict to achieve sustainable peace, it was announced today.

The new Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support has over 30 years of experience in several UN organizations, working on humanitarian, post-conflict, peacebuilding and development issues.

Most recently, she served as the Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees, in charge of operations in over 118 countries around the world, including the voluntary return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).

“Ms. Cheng-Hopkins is particularly well positioned to move the Secretary-General's peacebuilding agenda forward,” UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters. “She also brings the necessary blend of managerial acumen and energetic leadership required.”

In her new position, Ms. Cheng-Hopkins will head the Peacebuilding Support Office, which was set up in 2006 to support the newly-established Peacebuilding Commission.

The Commission, established in 2005, helps post-conflict countries determine the priority areas for rebuilding out of the vast array of challenges they face. Countries can also avail themselves of financial assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund to jump-start projects.

Ms. Cheng-Hopkins replaces Jane Holl Lute of the United States, who served with the UN since 2003.