23 November 2011

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

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Ján Kubiš of Slovakia


Special Representative for Afghanistan


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Mr. Kubiš succeeds Staffan de Mistura, of Sweden, who will complete his assignment as Special Representative of the Secretary-General on 31 December 2011.  The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. de Mistura for his dedication and leadership of UNAMA, serving in one of the most challenging duty stations during a period that has seen important developments, including parliamentary elections, a high-level international conference held in Kabul, and the beginning of the transition of security responsibilities to the Afghan Government.

Mr. Kubiš, who from 2009 served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), brings with him more than three decades of experience in the areas of diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both in his own country and internationally.

Mr. Kubiš served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia from 2006 to 2009, as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from 2007 to 2008, and as Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1999 to 2005.  Mr. Kubiš prior assignments include serving as the European Union’s Special Representative for Central Asia with the office in Brussels and as the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of OSCE for Central Asia.  He also served with the United Nations as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Tajikistan and Head of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan from 1998 to 1999.  Prior to that he was the Director of OSCE’s Conflict Prevention Centre.  Mr. Kubiš worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the former Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992 and thereafter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.  In 1993 he served as Permanent Representative of Slovakia in Geneva to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations.

A graduate in International Economic Relations of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Mr. Kubiš was born in Bratislava on 12 November 1952, and speaks Slovak, Czech, English, French and Russian.  He is married and has one daughter.

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*     This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1168-BIO/4049-REC/225 of 18 December 2008.

For information media • not an official record