United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Alexander Ivanko of the Russian Federation as his new Special Representative for Western Sahara and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). He succeeds Colin Stewart of Canada, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and effective leadership of MINURSO.
Having served as MINURSO’s Chief of Staff since 2009, Mr. Ivanko brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in international affairs, peacekeeping and journalism. He previously served as Director of Public Information for the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (2006-2009) and United Nations Spokesperson in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994-1998).
Mr. Ivanko began his career in journalism as a correspondent in Afghanistan and the United States for a Russian newspaper. He was also Senior Adviser to the Representative on Freedom of the Media of the Organization for Security and Co‑operation in Europe (1998-2005).
He holds a master’s degree, with honours, in journalism from the Moscow State University.