Secretary-General Appoints Zia Choudhury of Bangladesh United Nations Resident Coordinator in Botswana

October 3, 2019

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Zia Choudhury of Bangladesh as the UN Resident Coordinator in Botswana, with the host Government’s approval. With 25 years of experience in development and humanitarian work, Mr. Choudhury was involved primarily in NGO leadership positions as well as agricultural research, humanitarian policy and consulting roles in the United Nations system — with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Mr. Choudhury began his development career as a national field officer in a disaster‑prone island in the Bay of Bengal and has since worked in coordination and leadership roles across Africa, Asia and Europe.  His most recent postings have been as CARE International Country Director in Sudan and Bangladesh. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of London (SOAS) and a Master of Science in Management and Implementation of Development Projects from Manchester University in the United Kingdom.

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Secretary-General Appoints Ola Almgren of Sweden United Nations Resident Coordinator in Myanmar

October 3, 2019

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Ola Almgren of Sweden as the UN Resident Coordinator in Myanmar, with the host Government’s approval. Mr. Almgren will also serve as UN Humanitarian Coordinator. Bringing 29 years of experience to the United Nations, Mr. Almgren held several leadership positions in the coordination of humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, and peace and security. His most recent position was Resident Coordinator in the Philippines, prior to which he served as Director of Political Affairs and Head of the New York Office of the Joint Mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for the elimination of the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic. Mr. Almgren was previously Chief of Staff of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) from 2010 to 2013, and Head of the Integrated Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for that Mission, from 2009 until 2010. He also served in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (2006-2009). Prior to that, the Government of Sweden seconded Mr. Almgren to the Council of the European Union, where he assisted in the development of civilian crisis‑management doctrine and capacities. He has served in various functions with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (1990-1998) and other United Nations disaster and humanitarian coordination entities. He served with the Municipal Government of the City of Stockholm in 1998 and resumed his United Nations career in 2003. Mr. Almgren holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.

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Kenya plans a “Silicon Savannah” innovation hub to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals quickly

September 23, 2019

NEW YORK, 21 September 2019 - The Government of Kenya today signed a Communique with the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley, along with The Rockefeller Foundation, and the United Nations to inspire future action and support for the delivery of Kenya’s Big Four agenda. The agreement brings together strategic partnerships work with the Government of Kenya to build SDG focused partnerships to drive financing and innovations that help tackle complex development goals. The Government of Kenya also announced the launch of a co-created SDG Accelerator Lab, that will leverage on the recently initiated UNDP Accelerator Lab Network, as a strategic development platform for Kenya that will bring together the government, private sector, civil society, philanthropy, academia, and young people to reimagine development for the 21st century. Speaking during the signing event, Hon. Joseph Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya stated that “As a government, we recognize that innovation and technology will be at the heart of job creation, the manufacturing industry, guaranteeing food security for the country and ensuring universal healthcare. As a country, we have always taken pride in the space that we have provided to tech start-up communities, who have gone ahead to build some of the most amazing apps and systems. The partnerships signed today will harness the ongoing initiatives in our tech community to accelerate the actualization of our National Development goals. We are thankful for our partnerships with the UN SDG Partnership Platform, UNDP Accelerator Labs Network, Berkeley University CEGA, and the Rockefeller Foundation. We call upon all our partners to join efforts in making the SDG Accelerator Lab a ground-breaking success for leapfrogging the attainment of Kenya’s development priorities”. At the heart of the Lab is to re-imagine how development work is done, promoting a culture of innovation and experimentation. The capacity to adapt in a rapidly changing environment will become key for the UN to stay relevant and provide effective support to Kenya to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [caption id="attachment_11026" align="alignnone" width="530"] From left to right: Siddharth Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator Kenya.; Ms Christine Heenan, Senior VP Rockerfellar Foundation; Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru EGH, Ministry of Information and Communications, Kenya; Ms Carson Christiano, Executive Director, CEGA, UC Berkley. At the signing of the joint communique.[/caption] “The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history of working with the Government of Kenya to improve the lives and prospects of its citizens. Today we reaffirm our continued commitment and partnership with this communique. We are excited to be part of this journey, and look forward to advancing Kenya’s strategies and partnerships to achieve the Kenya Big Four Agenda,” said Christine Heenan, Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Advocacy, The Rockefeller Foundation. Tapping into the UNDP Accelerator Labs network, the Kenya SDGs Accelerator Lab aims to leverage and advance knowledge and learning from others through the global network and enrich developmental thinking and implementation through exploration and experimentation of multiple possible ideas and find contextualised solutions that can be deployed rapidly and sustainably. “Today’s development challenges are complex, and the speed at which they evolve requires agility, innovation, creativity and urgency. How development actors respond to the fast-changing realities of the 21 Century will be based on the ability to harness homegrown solutions and formation of strategic partnerships from global to grassroots levels, that guarantee endless possibilities of ideas and multiplicity of solutions. UNDP Accelerator Labs initiative is one such vehicle that can potentially help to align strategic partnerships with emerging innovations.” Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa In collaboration with local actors including the Private Sector and the Academia, the SDGs Accelerator Lab will endeavour in identifying and harnessing homegrown solutions that have proof of concept, with the aim of bringing them to scale, while creating an enabling environment for young innovators to conceptualise, test and deliver interventions that best work for their communities . “We are delighted by this opportunity to inspire positive social change in Kenya by supporting the Lab with rigorous research and connecting partners to our Silicon Valley enterprise ecosystem,” said Carson Christiano, Executive Director, Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), University of California, Berkeley Together with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of ICT, the SDGs Accelerator will build on and complement government led initiatives such as the Ajira Program, Digitalent Innovation Program, the Whitebox Platform and harness the power of tech-innovation to empower youth in becoming solution oriented and employment creators; focusing on women, youth, vulnerable and marginalized groups, underpinning the ambition of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. UN Resident Coordinator to Kenya Siddharth Chatterjee noted “as the UN in Kenya we strongly believe in the power of partnerships and stand ready to deliver as one our finest support to making the SDG Accelerator Lab a ground-breaking success.”

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UN and ILO: Future of work and the challenges for the cooperation agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean

September 19, 2019

Lima – Representatives of the UN Office for Development Coordination (UNDCO) and the ILO agreed today in the Peruvian capital on the need to prioritize the promotion of decent work in the cooperative agenda for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean, in a moment of slow economic growth that could generate greater unemployment and informality. This first official meeting between UN Resident Coordinators and the Directors of ILO Offices throughout the region seeks to strengthen interagency collaboration to better respond to the needs of countries. The event is also attended by technical specialists and representatives of other UN organizations. The dialogue on “Decent work and economic growth in the context of the future of work” began today with a series of interventions that highlighted the need to take measures that help countries to meet the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “Decent Work is much more than a job. It is key to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda; to achieve a “sustainable development that puts an end to poverty and leaves no one behind,” said the ILO’s Deputy Director General of Foreign Programs and Alliances, Mr Moussa Oumarou, who made a visit to Lima to inaugurate this meeting. Mr Oumarou stressed the importance of addressing a future of work represented by the impact of technologies, climate change or demographic evolution, as well as the challenges of a reality characterized by high unemployment, informality, inequalities, persistent child labour and forced labour, among others. According to ILO data released at the meeting, the 8.0 per cent unemployment rate in Latin America and the Caribbean is the highest in a decade, and could rise even more, considering that according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) the region will have a slow growth of 0.5 per cent in 2019, below the 0.9 per cent recorded last year when it was already considered moderate and with little impact on labour markets. It will also be difficult to reduce informal labour, which affects 50 per cent of those employed in the region. "We are living a moment of high complexity in Latin America and the Caribbean," said the UNDCO Regional Director, Christian Salazar, who spoke at the inauguration on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinators. He stressed the importance of revitalizing cooperation at a time when it is not only needed to advance in sustainable development, but also to "avoid setbacks". “We need to work together, we need to align ourselves better to deal with labour and economy issues,” said Salazar, who added that this synergy could be obtained through “a collective knowledge that we can contribute to support countries in collective processes that promote decent work and inclusive growth.” He added that it is essential to deal with the world of work issues, which should not be left out of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Salazar gave the example of youth unemployment, as young people face unemployment three times greater than adults. Youth in the region also experience a level of labour informality at a rate of 60 per cent, and 20 per cent of young people who are neither employed or in school have difficulty entering the labour market. During the meeting, participants also raised the importance of considering the unique structure of the ILO in interagency collaboration efforts. The ILO is the UN’s only tripartite institution where 187 member States are represented by governments and employers 'and workers' organizations. The meeting also recognized the new UN Resolution on the ILO Centenary Declaration on the Future of Work. The Resolution called all agencies, funds and programmes to mainstream decent work in their programmatic activities and for consider including some of its components in the UN sustainable development cooperation frameworks according to national realities The agenda of the two-day meeting between the UN Resident Coordinators and ILO Directors also includes the analysis of issues such as the impact of ILO International Labour Standards, tripartism, the objectives of employment promotion, social protection and vocational training, as well as the priorities that serve as a guide for interagency collaboration in the UN System. High-level delegates who attended the opening of the meeting included Mr. Javier Palacios, Deputy Minister of Labour and Employment Promotion of Peru, Mr. Cicero Pereira da Silva, Representative of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), and Mr Alberto Echavarría, the Employers' Representative of the ILO Governing Body. Mr Mario Cimoli, ECLAC Deputy Executive Secretary, and Mr Luis Felipe López-Calva, UNDP Regional Director also joined the meeting by videoconference.

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Secretary-General appoints Imran Riza of Pakistan as UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Syrian Arab Republic

September 19, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Imran Riza of Pakistan as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, with the host government’s approval. Mr. Imran Riza brings over 30 years of international experience across the UN System, mainly in field settings. For the past five years, he was in Lebanon as UNIFIL’s Deputy Head of Mission and Director of the Division of Political Affairs, Civil Affairs and Strategic Communications. Prior to joining UNIFIL, he served as the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, and the UNHCR Representative for Jordan. Mr. Riza has also held positions with the World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome and as Senior Advisor to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, and later to the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. With UNHCR, He has also served at Geneva HQ and in Sudan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. He holds a Masters’ degree in Social-Cultural Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelors’ degree in History and Political Science from McGill University.

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Secretary-General appoints Simon Springett of the United States of America as UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Republic of Moldova

September 19, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Simon Springett of the United States of America as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Republic of Moldova, with the host government’s approval. Mr. Springett brings 25 Years of international experience in humanitarian and development work, including as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative for both The Republic of Mauritius and The Republic of Seychelles (20012-2017). His last posting was as Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Director for Response Operations (UK Department for International Development / Palladium). Prior to this he worked in senior management posts with Oxfam primarily focused on first phase humanitarian responses and has served as Director and Trustee in a number of international organisations. He holds a Master of Science in Development Practice (Humanitarian Protection) from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom.

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Secretary-General Appoints Françoise Jacob of France as UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia

August 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Françoise Jacob of France as the UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia, with the host government’s approval. Ms. Jacob brings 24 years of experience in humanitarian and development work, including 10 years of service to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Asia/Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. For the past two years, she has served as UNOPS representative to the EU institutions in Brussels. Prior to that, she was the UNOPS director for South Asia (2011-2017). She held management positions with UNOPS, UNRWA, ECHO(EU), NGOs and the private sector in Afghanistan, the Middle East, East Timor, Sudan, Montenegro, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She holds a Master of Business Administration from ESSEC, in Paris.

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Secretary-General Appoints Mauricio Ramirez-Villegas of Colombia as UN Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic

August 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Mauricio Ramirez-Villegas of Colombia as the UN Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, with the host government’s approval. Mr. Ramirez-Villegas brings 28 years of service to the United Nations, serving most recently as Resident Coordinator in Bolivia (2015-2019). He has held several leadership positions with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Latin America and the Caribbean, serving in the Dominican Republic (2008-2011), Guatemala (2011-2014), Mexico (2015) and Colombia (1992-2004) as well as in UNDP’s Regional Bureau in New York (2004-2008). Born in 1959, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia. He has extensive training on Climate Change and Development, in Harvard University at the John F. Kennedy School of Governance (2000), and on Public Policies for Sustainable Development, in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAC (2000).

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Secretary-General Appoints Violet Kakyoma of Uganda as UN Resident Coordinator in Chad

August 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Violet Kakyoma of Uganda as the UN Resident Coordinator in Chad, with the host government’s approval. Ms. Kakyomya brings more than 20 years working experience with the United Nations and Civil Society in her home country before she joined the UN. She is currently UN Resident Coordinator in Madagascar. Before assuming this position, she served as United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Malawi and in Guinea Bissau (2012-2016). Before that she held several leadership positions at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) including as Deputy Resident Representative in Cameroon (2010 – 2012) as Programme Advisor at the UNDP Regional Office (2008 to 2010), in the Republic of Congo as Deputy Resident Representative (2004 -2008) and Assistant Resident Representative in Mozambique (2001 – 2004) . Before joining the United Nations, she worked her home country of Uganda with Water Aid and with the Uganda Community Based Association for Child Welfare. She holds a diploma in organizational leadership from Said Business School of the University of Oxford United Kingdom, a Master’s Degree from the University of London, London School of Economics as well as a Bachelor’s Degree from Makerere University in Uganda.

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Secretary-General Appoints Birgit Gerstenberg of Germany as UN Resident Coordinator for Belize and El Salvador

August 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Birgit Gerstenberg of Germany as the UN Resident Coordinator in Belize and the Republic of El Salvador, with the host governments’ approval. Ms. Gerstenberg brings 25 years of service to the United Nations, with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and in three peacekeeping missions (ONUSAL, MINUGUA, UNMIS) in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. For the past year and a half, she served as the OHCHR Regional Representative for South America. She also served as Senior Human Rights Advisor in Jamaica (2014-2018), OHCHR Representative in Uganda (2009-2014) and holding leadership positions for OHCHR Colombia (2006-2009), Sudan/Darfur (2005), Guatemala (2002-2004, 2005-2006) and in peacekeeping missions in El Salvador (1991-1994) and Guatemala (1997-2002). Born in 1958, she holds bachelor’s and a master’s degree equivalent in Philosophy from Friedrich Schiller University Jena and a PhD in history of philosophy in Latin America of University Rostock, as well as the PhD course and pre-thesis in Law and Fundamental Rights of the Bartolome de las Casas Institute of the Carlos III University, Madrid Spain.

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Secretary-General Appoints Roberto Valent of Italy as UN Resident Coordinator in Argentina

July 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Roberto Valent of Italy as the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Argentina, with the host government’s approval. Mr. Valent brings 24 years of service to the United Nations, with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the Africa, Central America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. For the past four years he has served as Special Representative of the UNDP Administrator for the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. He has also served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in El Salvador and Belize (2010–2015), holding leadership positions with UNDP in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2005-2007) and in Sudan (2002-2005). Mr. Valent also held UNDP positions in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Kosovo and Macedonia. Born in 1965, he holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in political science from Bologna University, Italy, and another master´s degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex.

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Secretary-General Appoints Tapan Mishra of India as UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia

July 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Tapan Mishra of India as the UN Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, with the host government’s approval. Mr Mishra has served as UN Resident Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since June 2015. With over 16 years of professional experience, he has held several positions in the UN headquarters, including Chief of the Learning Resources Centre, Senior Advisor to the Director of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support, Senior Advisor at Country Offices and with the Human Development Report Office. Before joining the UN he had nearly a decade of experience in the public and private sector. Born in 1960, Mr. Mishra is a Management Postgraduate from India’s XLRI Jamshedpur Business School. He has been teaching HR Management in India and in the United States, including Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

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Secretary-General Appoints Igor Garafulic of Chile as UN Resident Coordinator in Peru

July 29, 2019

The UN Secretary-General has appointed Igor Garafulic of Chile as the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Peru, with the host government’s approval. Mr. Garafulic brings 28 years of professional experience and has recently served as UN Resident Coordinator in Honduras. He held various senior positions with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as Country Director for Guatemala (2014-2017), and Senior Advisor for the UNDP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in New York (2010-2013). Mr. Garafulic has served as an economist holding various public positions in Chile since 1991. He has a degree in Economics from the University of Chile and holds a master’s degree from Oxford University. He speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese and Swedish.

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