UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Haile Menkerios of South Africa as his special representative to the African Union (AU) and head of the UN office to the AU. Prior to his appointment as Mr. Ban’s special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan in July 2011 (a position he will continue to hold), Mr. Menkerios served as the special representative and head of the UN Mission in Sudan since March 2010. From 2007 to 2010, he was the assistant-secretary-general for political affairs at the UN headquarters in New York. Mr. Menkerios served as the deputy special representative of the secretary-general for the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2005 to 2007, and as the director of the Africa division within the political affairs department from 2003 to 2005. In 2002, he was the senior adviser to Mr. Ban’s special envoy to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue. Mr. Menkerios replaces Zachary Muburi-Muita of Kenya.
Nicholas Kay of the United Kingdom has been appointed the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Somalia. At the time of his appointment, Mr. Kay was working as the Africa director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this, he served as the British ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then Sudan from 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2012, respectively. He was also the UK’s regional coordinator for southern Afghanistan and head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Kay succeeds Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania.
Albert Gerard Koenders of the Netherlands was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s special representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Mr. Koenders has served as the special representative and head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire since October 2011. He brings with him more than 25 years of experience in national politics, international affairs and development including as minister for development cooperation.
Martin Kobler of Germany was appointed as special representative of Mr. Ban for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kobler served as special representative with the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq and as the deputy special representative with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011. Mr. Kobler succeeds Roger Meece of the United States.
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa has been appointed by Mr. Ban as the executive director of the UN Women. She brings to the position a wealth of experience in advocating for women’s issues. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka was the first woman to hold the position of deputy president of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. She has also held several positions, including that of minister of minerals and energy from 1999 to 2005. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka replaces Michelle Bachelet of Chile.