5 August 2011 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced his intention to appoint Martin Kobler of Germany as his Special Representative for Iraq and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission to the country (UNAMI).
Mr. Kobler will replace Ad Melkert of the Netherlands, who has served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq since July 2009.
Mr. Kobler has served as Deputy Special Representative (Political) for Afghanistan since March last year. He brings to the position vast experience in developing policies for conflict areas, having served in his country’s foreign service for more than 25 years. He was previously the Director-General for Culture and Communication in the German foreign ministry.
He served as Chief of Cabinet to former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer between 2000 and 2003, and Deputy Chief of Cabinet from 1998 to 2000. Between 1997 and 1998, Mr. Kobler was deputy head of the foreign ministry’s Balkan Task Force, prior to which he established the German representation with the Palestinian Authority in Jericho.
Mr. Kobler, who was born in 1953, also served as an electoral observer with the UN missions in Haiti, Nicaragua and Cambodia.
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