Saying that 2005 offered the United Nations a critical opportunity to push through a new round of reforms, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today that he had chosen the UN's top development official to be his new chief of staff, who would play a key role in carrying out a series of measures to enhance the effectiveness of the world body.
The Secretary-General said that Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), would assume his new duties as Chief of Staff, or Chef de cabinet, effective 19 January.
“As most of you already know, Mark is an immensely capable leader and manager and, in his new role, will assist me and Louise Fréchette, my Deputy Secretary-General,in developing and implementing major initiatives to improve the performance and management of the United Nations,” Secretary-General told a press conference in New York on Monday, which is an official holiday here at UN Headquarters.
Mr. Annan pointed out that the upcoming five-year review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be a key moment for world leaders to reach agreement on how best to revitalize the Organization and ensure it is better equipped to deal with the scale and complexity of 21st century challenges.
“Mark's leadership of the United Nations effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals means that there are strong synergies between this agenda and Mark's current role,” Mr. Annan said, adding that the UNDP and the UN Development Group, which Mr. Malloch Brown chairs, will play a very important role in UN efforts of pushing ahead the Millennium Development Goals.
The MDGs aim at a series of ambitious targets, ranging from halving extreme poverty, to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, to providing universal primary education, all by 2015.
They stem from a landmark UN summit in September 2000, which adopted the Millennium Declaration as a blueprint to build a better and safer world for the next century through collective security and a global partnership for development.
Prior to his appointment with UNDP in 1999, Mark Malloch Brown, a UK national, spent five years at the World Bank, including as Vice-President for External Affairs and Vice-President for United Nations Affairs. From 1986 to 1994, he was the lead international partner in a strategic communications management firm, the Sawyer-Miller Group, where he worked with corporations and governments. Mr. Malloch Brown also served as the political correspondent of the Economist magazine and was the founding editor of the monthly Economist Development Report.