Experienced UN official appointed to senior political post at world body

28 April 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, who currently heads the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, to a senior political post at the world body’s Secretariat in New York, it was announced today.

Mr. Zerihoun, of Ethiopia, will replace Haile Menkerios – who is serving for the next year as the top UN official in Sudan – as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Since April 2008, Mr. Zerihoun has served as Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Cyprus and the head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

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

Prior to taking up his post in Cyprus, Mr. Zerihoun, 67, served as the Secretary-General’s Principal Deputy Special Representative in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) and was the Acting Special Representative from October 2006 to October 2007.

He has also acted for a time as a UN mediator as part of the world body’s efforts to bring peace to the war-ravaged Darfur region of western Sudan.

Since joining the UN in 1981, Mr. Zerihoun has gained a wealth of experience and administrative skills from his numerous assignments with the world body, where he has worked on issues including decolonization, conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

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