Movses Abelian

Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management

Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM)

Movses Abelian assumed the position of Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management on 1 September 2019.  As Under-Secretary-General, he heads the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) in the United Nations Secretariat, with staff located in four duty stations – New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi.  On 3 September 2019, he was appointed Secretariat-wide Coordinator for Multilingualism responsible for coordinating the overall implementation of multilingualism within the Secretariat and also serves as lead for multilingualism-related matters at the United Nations System level.  In addition, he is the Chair of the International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements, Documentation and Publications (IAMLADP).

Mr. Abelian brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in conference management, peace and security issues and conflict resolution as well as extensive expertise in leading, supporting and managing complex portfolios and intergovernmental processes, including the General Assembly, the Security Council and the executive boards of United Nations funds and programmes. 

As Director of the Security Council Affairs Division from 2011 to 2016, Mr. Abelian served as the Secretary of the Security Council and provided substantive advice to the President and members of the Council and its subsidiary bodies on matters related to the Council’s work, practices and procedures.  He also has several years of experience in management, including programme planning and budgeting, having previously worked as Secretary of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee (Fifth Committee) of the General Assembly and the Committee for Programme and Coordination at the United Nations. 

Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Abelian was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations from 1998 to 2003 and Deputy Permanent Representative from 1996 to 1998.  During his diplomatic career, Mr. Abelian served in various capacities, including as Chair of the Fifth Committee (1998); Vice-Chair of the Disarmament Commission and Special Negotiator for the reform of financing for United Nations peacekeeping operations (2000); President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Facilitator for United Nations reform during the fifty-seventh
session of the General Assembly (2002). 

Before joining the foreign service of Armenia in 1992, Mr. Abelian worked in academia as Associate Professor at Yerevan State University from 1989. 

Mr. Abelian was educated in Armenia, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.  He is married and has two children.