United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as his Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union at the level of Under-Secretary-General. She will succeed Haile Menkerios of South Africa to whom the Secretary-General reiterates his deep gratitude and appreciation for his dedicated service to the organization.
Ms. Zewde is the first woman appointed to this position. Currently Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, she brings three decades of progressively responsible experience at the national, regional and international levels. She is expected to bring to bear well-honed skills in building consensus among stakeholders, and her knowledge of the Organization in order to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in the area of peace and security.
She was the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) and served as Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
Ms. Zewde has served as the Ethiopian Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (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 on Development (IGAD), and to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea (1989-1993).
Ms. Zewde is a natural sciences graduate of the University of Montpellier, France.
* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1280-BIO/4271 of 11 March 2011.