23 November 2011 A senior United Nations official and former Slovakian foreign minister will be the next UN envoy to Afghanistan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today.
Jan Kubiš, 59, succeeds Staffan de Mistura as Mr. Ban’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), with Mr. de Mistura completing his term on 31 December.
Mr. Kubiš has been Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) since 2009, and previously served with the Organization in the late 1990s as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Tajikistan and head of the UN mission of observers to that Central Asian country.
Announcing the appointment in a statement, Mr. Ban noted that Mr. Kubiš has more than three decades of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy and international economic relations.
The Slovakian served as his country’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2009, and has also had stints as the chairman of the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers and as secretary-general of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Next month a major international conference on Afghanistan’s future direction will be held in Bonn, Germany, focusing on helping the country on the path towards greater democracy, stability, security and economic development.
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