United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Volker Türk of Austria as Under-Secretary-General for Policy in his Executive Office.
In addition to coordinating global policy work, the Secretary-General has asked Mr. Türk to focus in particular on follow-up to the ‘Our Common Agenda’ report and to continue the strategic coordination work within the Executive Office. He will ensure coherence in the analysis provided to the Secretary-General and conduct system-wide coordination, including on the Secretary-General’s ‘Call to Action for Human Rights’. He will continue to chair the Deputies Committee and oversee secretariat support to the Executive Committee and the Senior Management Group, as well as coordinate closely on matters related to the Chief Executives Board.
Mr. Türk has since 2019, served as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Prior to this appointment, he was Assistant High Commissioner for Protection in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva (2015-2019), with particular responsibilities for the development of the Global Compact on Refugees.
He served in key UNHCR headquarter positions, including as Director of the Division of International Protection (2009-2015), Director of Organizational Development and Management (2008-2009); and Chief of Section, Protection Policy and Legal Advice (2000-2004). Mr. Türk also occupied various positions with UNHCR around the world, including as Representative in Malaysia, Assistant Chief of Mission in Kosovo and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively; Regional Protection Co-ordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and in Kuwait.
Mr. Türk holds a doctorate in international law from the University of Vienna and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Linz, Austria. He is fluent in English and French and has working knowledge of Spanish.