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Department for General Assembly and Conference Management

Movses Abelian
Under-Secretary-General
for General Assembly and Conference Management


Mr. Movses Abelian assumed the position of Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management on 1 September 2019. On 3 September 2019, he was also appointed Secretariat-wide Coordinator for Multilingualism.

Previously, Mr. Abelian served as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management since January 2016. Prior to that, he was Director of the Security Council Affairs Division in the Department of Political Affairs.

Mr. Abelian brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in conference management, peace and security issues and conflict resolution as well as extensive expertise in leading, supporting and managing complex portfolios and intergovernmental processes, including the General Assembly, the Security Council and the executive boards of United Nations funds and programmes.

As Director of the Security Council Affairs Division from 2011 to 2016, Mr. Abelian served as the Secretary of the Security Council and provided substantive advice to the President and members of the Council and its subsidiary bodies on matters related to the Council’s work, practices and procedures. He also has several years of experience in management, including programme planning and budgeting, having previously worked as Secretary of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee) of the General Assembly and the Committee for Programme and Coordination at the United Nations.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Abelian was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003 and Deputy Permanent Representative from 1996 to 1998. During his diplomatic career, Mr. Abelian served in various capacities, including as the Chair of the Fifth Committee (1998); Vice-Chair of the Disarmament Commission and Special Negotiator for the reform of financing for United Nations peacekeeping operations (2000); President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Facilitator for United Nations reform during the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly (2002).

Before joining the foreign service of Armenia in 1992, Mr. Abelian worked in academia as Associate Professor at Yerevan State University from 1989.

Mr. Abelian was educated in Armenia, the Russian Federation and the United States of America. He is married and has two children.