Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced five senior appointments to several United Nations offices, including two deputies to the head of the newly-created entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
On the recommendation of Michelle Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN Women, Mr. Ban appointed Lakshmi Puri of India and John Hendra of Canada to the positions of Assistant Secretary-General, according to the deputy spokesperson of the Secretary-General, Farhan Haq.
Ms. Puri will serve as Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at UN Women. She brings a wealth of experience to the position, including a long career at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She has also worked, in various capacities, for gender equality and women’s empowerment, human rights and peace and security.
Mr. Hendra was appointed UN Women’s Assistant Secretary-General for Policy and Programmes. He brings to the body a wealth of experience, including that gained in a career spanning two decades in development programming in a number of positions in the UN, with a posting as Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam and stints in Tanzania and Latvia.
The Secretary-General also appointed Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as the Director-General of the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON). She becomes the first person to serve in the newly created position at the level of Under-Secretary-General. Ms. Zewde is currently Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan was appointed Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG), becoming the first Asian to serve in that capacity. Mr. Tokayev has previously served as his country’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Senate. He also has extensive knowledge on issues and deliberations of the Conference on Disarmament.
The Secretary-General also today announced his intention to appoint Abou Moussa of Chad as the Special Representative and Head of the newly-established UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) in Libreville, Gabon. Mr. Moussa is currently the Secretary-General’s Principal Deputy Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire.
“In making these appointments the Secretary-General has taken into account geographically balanced distribution and gender balance. He has also been aware of the need to bring fresh blood and to encourage motivation in the rank and file within the Organization,” Mr. Haq said when announcing the appointments.