New York

12 December 2006

Statement by the Secretary-General on the resignation of Jan Egeland

It is with deep regret, and with profound gratitude for his tireless efforts, that I have accepted the resignation of Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland.

Over the past three and a half years, Jan Egeland has led our joint efforts to provide desperately needed relief in the wake of a number of disasters –including the devastating earthquake in Bam (Iran), the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunami, the South Asia earthquake, the drought in West Africa the drought and flooding in the Horn of Africa, and the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Jan has coordinated our humanitarian efforts in neglected and forgotten crises from northern Uganda to Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has travelled to the frontlines of conflicts to bear witness to the suffering of civilian populations in Darfur, Sudan, Colombia, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and brought the world's attention to the suffering there.

Jan has led the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the wider humanitarian community through the most significant reform process since the establishment of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in 1991. Thanks largely to his tireless advocacy, the humanitarian reforms which I proposed in my report, In Larger Freedom, have been put in place: the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been established and is making humanitarian funding more predictable and equitable; new humanitarian partnerships are closing gaps in the provision of humanitarian aid, and designated “agencies of last resort” are ensuring that needs are covered; and our humanitarian leadership is being strengthened at the country level.

I wish Jan the very best as he prepares to return to Norway to spend more time with his family. His leadership will be sorely missed. But I also know his voice will always be heard, speaking up on behalf of those who need it most.