On 12 April 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Virginia Gamba of Argentina as his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict at the level of Under-Secretary-General. She will replace Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedicated service and commitment to the United Nations.
Ms. Gamba is currently Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism established by Security Council resolution 2235 (2015) on the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria. She brings more than 30 years of experience and professional leadership on issues related to disarmament, peace and human security.
She previously served as Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs in the Office for Disarmament Affairs between 2012 and 2015, and as Deputy Director of Safety and Security at the Institute for Public Safety in Argentina’s Ministry of Justice from 2009 to 2012.
Between 2007 and 2009, Ms. Gamba was an Expert Consultant with the European Union, helping the African Union develop its implementation strategy for the African Common Approach to Combat Illicit Small Arms Trafficking. In South Africa, between 2001 and 2007, she was Director of South-South Interactions at SaferAfrica, having previously been Deputy Director at the Institute for Security Studies between 1996 and 2001. In Geneva, between 1992 and 1996, she served as Director of the Disarmament and Conflict Resolution Programme at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. She was also a Senior Lecturer in Latin American security studies in the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London.
Born in 1954, Ms. Gamba holds a Master of Science degree in strategic studies from University College of Wales and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and American studies from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.