3 June 2009

Secretary-General Appoints Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as Special Representative, Head of Peacebuilding Office in Central African Republic

3 June 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note


HEAD OF PeaceBuilding Office in Central African Republic

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), which is to be succeeded by the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office (BINUCA).

Ms. Zewde, who will replace François Lonseny Fall, will be the second woman to be appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary-General under Secretary-General Ban.

The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Fall’s tireless efforts to help stabilize the situation in the Central African Republic.

She brings to the position years of experience in the African Union’s initiatives in conflict prevention and peacebuilding.  As a representative of her country to the African Union Peace and Security Council, she has been involved in deliberations on the situation in the Central African Republic.  She has a deep understanding of the close partnership of the United Nations and the African Union in resolving conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding efforts in Africa.

Ms. Zewde has more than 20 years of diplomatic service as ambassador.  She is currently Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.  She has also served as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, posts that she has held since 2006.

Prior to that appointment, Ms. Zewde was Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to UNESCO and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco (2002-2006).  From 1993 to 2002, she served as Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea (1989-1993).

Ms. Zewde has represented her country in the Peace and Security Council of the African Union since 2006 and co-chaired the United Nations Security Council-African Union Peace and Security Council joint meeting in April 2008 in New York.

She has attended most IGAD meetings, as well as Organization of African Unity (OAU)/African Union summits and led the experts group in different partnership summits with Africa (China-India-European Union-France-South America-Turkey), and has led the OAU observer team in parliamentary and presidential elections in the Niger (1993 and 1996), as well as Mali (1991).

Ms. Zewde is a natural sciences graduate of the University of Montpellier, France.  She is fluent in Amharic, French and English.

Born on 21 February 1950, she has two sons.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.