Secretary-General appoints Mr. Ramiz Alakbarov of Azerbaijan as Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 21 December 2020 the appointment of Ramiz Alakbarov of Azerbaijan as his new Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), serving also as the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Mr. Alakbarov succeeds Toby Lanzer of the United Kingdom, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service.
Mr. Alakbarov brings 25 years of experience in executive leadership, strategic planning and policy making, development programming and management, and humanitarian response, including as the Director of the Policy and Strategy Division in New York and the Country Representative in Haiti for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From February to July 2020, he was Deputy Executive Director for Management and Assistant Secretary-General, ad interim, for UNFPA. Since August 2020 he was the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan, ad interim.
Mr. Alakbarov has also served as UNFPA Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Office for Arab States (2014–2015) and Head of the Office in South Sudan (2010). Prior to these positions, he served in various roles within UNFPA supporting country programmes in Arab States, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, including as Programme Officer covering Sudan, Somalia, and Iraq and as Humanitarian Response Officer for Operations, in Afghanistan, Palestine and the Great Lakes Region. From 1992 to 1995 he was an Assistant Professor at Azerbaijan Medical University and a practicing physician.
Mr. Alakbarov holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, United States, and a Medical Degree and Doctorate from Azerbaijan Medical University, Azerbaijan. He is fluent in English, French, and Russian.