UN chief announces senior appointments; sets up independent panel on Human Settlements Programme

Flags of Member States fly in front of the United Nations Headquarters building. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

12 April 2017 – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of senior officials as his envoys dealing with prevention of sexual violence in conflict and for protection of children during such crisis, respectively.

He also appointed a new High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States, and an independent panel to strengthen effectiveness of UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

According to statements issued today by the UN chief’s spokesperson, Virginia Gamba of Argentina – currently the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) on the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria – has been appointed the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

Similarly, Pramila Patten of Mauritius, who as practicing Barrister at Law served, since 2003, as a Member of the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, has been designated the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

For the position of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, the Secretary-General appointed Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Tourism of Tonga.

In the statements, Mr. Guterres expressed that he was grateful to the outgoing senior leaders who have served with distinction and true commitment to UN ideals.

Also today, Mr. Guterres appointed an independent panel to assess and enhance effectiveness of UN-Habitat after the adoption of the New Urban Agenda – the outcome of the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (popularly known as Habitat III) – held in Quito, Ecuador, last October.

The independent assessment is a part of the follow-up and review of the Habitat III outcome and it will contain recommendations on enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of UN-Habitat.

The assessment report will also serve as an input to a two-day High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly, to be convened by the President of the General Assembly during the 71st session in September this year, to discuss the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the positioning of UN-Habitat in that regard.

The panel includes architect Peter Calthorpe; Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, the Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of the French capital, Paris; Sheela Patel, Founder and Director of the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres; Rosario Robles, Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development of Mexico; Ambassador František Ružicka, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the UN; Ponsto S.M. Sekatle, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Lesotho; and Mpho Parks Tau, President of United Cities and Local Governments and South African Local Governments Association.


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