PRESS RELEASE: President-elect of the UN General Assembly appoints two more senior officials

Press Release

 

President-elect of the UN General Assembly appoints two more senior officials

Strong commitment to transparency, gender parity and North-South balance for OPGA71

 

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 5 August 2016 – The President-elect of the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, today announced two more key appointments to the Office of the President of the General Assembly for the 71st session.

Ambassador Sofia Borges, former Permanent Representative of Timor-Leste to the UN, will become Special Adviser on Strategic Engagement and Transparency and Ambassador Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, will act as Special Adviser, Political.

“In line with the appointments made earlier this week, today’s appointments reflect my commitment to maintaining gender parity and a healthy North-South balance in the Office of the President,” Mr Thomson said today. “A continuing commitment to transparency will also be a core function during the 71st session.”

Ambassador Borges will lead work on strategic engagement with Member States and non-state actors and oversee activities within the Office to ensure the maximum level of transparency possible.

Ambassador Borges is currently serving as Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda to the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA). Previously she was PR of Timor-Leste to the UN from 2010-2016 during which time she served as Chair of the Third Committee for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and as a Vice President of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly. She was Lead Negotiator for her country during the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals and Lead Negotiator for Timor-Leste Post-2015 Inter-Governmental Negotiations on the SDGs.

Ambassador Vrailas, a career diplomat and foreign affairs expert, will serve as Special Adviser, Political.

Before his current position as Deputy Head of the EU Delegation in New York, which he took up in 2011, Ambassador Vrailas served as Deputy Chief of Mission with the Embassy of Greece in Washington D.C. from 2009 to July 2011. From 2008-2009, he was Chief Coordinator of the Greek Permanent Representation to the EU for External Relations and from 2004-2008 Deputy Representative to the EU Political and Security Committee in Brussels.

Among other assignments, Ambassador Vrailas served with the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN in New York from 1992-1996 and was Deputy Chief of Mission with the Embassy of Greece in Tehran from 1996-1999.

Today’s announcement follows the appointment earlier this week of Danish Ambassador Tomas Anker Christensen, who will continue for a second term to serve as Chef de Cabinet of the President’s Office and Ambassador Dessima Williams of Grenada as Special Advisor in charge of the Office’s team for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In announcing the appointments, the President-elect said they reflected a commitment to provide the Office of the President with gender parity, North-South balance, institutional continuity and the requisite skills and experience to drive towards a successful 71st session.

 

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FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

Dan Thomas, Communications Director & Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly, T: +1 917 225 1913 | E: daniel.thomas@un.org

Katharina Kandt, Digital Communications Advisor to the President of the General Assembly, T: +917 244 3890, E: kandt@un.org

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