12 October 2009

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Hany Abdel-Aziz of Egypt

as Special Representative for Western Sahara


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Hany Abdel-Aziz of Egypt as his Special Representative for Western Sahara and the Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). 

Mr. Abdel-Aziz will succeed Julian Harston, who was appointed as Director of the United Nations Office in Belgrade on 1 March 2009.  The Secretary-General is grateful both to Mr. Harston and to Major General Jingmin Zhao of China, who has been fulfilling the responsibilities of Officer-in-Charge of the Mission for the past seven months, for their dedication and tireless work in fulfilling those responsibilities.

Mr. Abdel-Aziz brings wide-ranging and in-depth knowledge to the position.  Currently serving as Director of Mission Support in the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), he has garnered some 25 years of experience at the United Nations, including in eight peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Burundi -- primarily in administrative roles.  Mr. Abdel-Aziz began his service with the United Nations as an Arabic interpreter in Geneva in 1981.

Mr. Abdel-Aziz graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1964 and received an advanced degree in Economics from the University of Cairo in 1975.  Mr. Abdel-Aziz is fluent in Arabic, French and English. 

He was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1946, and has two daughters.

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For information media • not an official record