Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appointed Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria as his new Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the UN Spokesperson’s office announced today.
Mr. Mladenov, who is currently head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), will replace Robert Serry, of the Netherlands, to whom Mr. Ban is “grateful for his dedicated service and excellent leadership of the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO),” said a note to correspondents.
Mr. Mladenov has also been a Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria before and served as his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence.
In his new role, he will, among other things, oversee the ongoing UN-backed reconstruction efforts in Gaza where thousands of people are seeking access to building materials for urgent repairs to their homes following last summer’s conflict in the war-ravaged enclave.
According to a recent UN assessment, as it stands now, over 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, affecting more than 600,000 people. Many people still lack access to the municipal water network. Blackouts of up to 18 hours per day are common.
In addition, the violence killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and more than 70 Israelis.