United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 31 January 2020 the appointment of Jack Christofides of South Africa as the Deputy Head of Mission for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). He succeeds Imran Riza of Pakistan, who became United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Arab Republic in September 2019, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service.
Mr. Christofides brings a wealth of experience in diplomacy, international affairs, human rights and peacekeeping. Most recently he served as the Director of the Northern Africa Division of the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations. From 2012 through 2018, he served as the Director of the Africa II Division of the Office of Operations in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). He was the Director for the Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training in DPKO and the Department of Field Support from 2016 to 2017. He served as Team Leader for Sudan in 2010 and Team Leader for the Great Lakes team in 2011. Mr. Christofides has extensive field experience, which includes having served as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Director of the Joint Mediation Support Team on Darfur and Political Director in the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
Earlier in his United Nations career, he served as Principal Officer of the Europe and Americas Division in DPKO, and senior adviser on African Issues to the head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. From 1994 to 1999, he was stationed in Geneva covering human rights issues, first as a diplomat and then as Chief of Staff to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Christofides was in the South African diplomatic service.
Mr. Christofides holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pretoria.