Thu, 04 Mar 2021

UN chief appoints new envoy on Libya

19 Jan 2021, 04:55 GMT+10

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday appointed Jan Kubis of Slovakia as his special representative on Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, said his spokesman.

Kubis will take up his post in early February. Acting special representative Stephanie Williams of the United States will stay on through January to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres.

The secretary-general is grateful for the commitment and outstanding leadership of Williams in moving the political process forward in Libya, he said.

Kubis, who has served as UN special coordinator for Lebanon since 2019, brings with him many years of experience in diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both internationally and in his own country, said the spokesman.

Kubis previously served as the top UN envoy for Iraq from 2015 to 2018, and as top UN envoy for Afghanistan from 2011 to 2015.

He was the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe from 2009 to 2011, foreign minister of Slovakia from 2006 to 2009, chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from 2007 to 2008, and secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1999 to 2005.

Kubis' appointment came after the sudden resignation of Nickolay Mladenov, who had been tipped to become the new UN special envoy on Libya.

Mladenov, a Bulgarian politician and diplomat, informed Guterres on Dec. 21 that when his term as special coordinator for the Middle East peace process ends on Dec. 31, he would resign from the United Nations for personal and family reasons and would not be able to take up the position of special envoy on Libya.

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