Ban appoints senior humanitarian coordinator in Somalia

New York, Dec 31 : United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced the appointment of Philippe Lazzarini as his Deputy Special Representative, as well as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, in Somalia.

Lazzarini, a citizen of Switzerland, will serve as Deputy to Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicholas Kay, who heads the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The Security Council established the Mission in May to more effectively coordinate international support for Somalia's Federal Government.

Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Islamist Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government.

The Mission's mandate includes providing UN 'good offices' functions to support peace and reconciliation; assisting the Government and the existing African Union peacekeeping force, known as AMISOM, with advice on peacebuilding and State building; assisting in coordinating international support; helping build capacity in human rights and the rule of law; and monitoring and helping prevent human rights violations.

Lazzarini, who has been the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Somalia since March 2013, will also continue to bring together the different UN agencies operating in Somalia to improve their efficiency and effectiveness at providing humanitarian and development support to the Government.

Prior to this assignment, he held a number of senior positions in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), including as Deputy Director of the Coordination and Response Division (2011 to 2013), and in various field positions in Iraq, Angola, Somalia, and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Before joining the UN, Lazzarini served as a delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in southern Sudan, Beirut, Amman and Gaza. He also led ICRC operations in Bosnia, Angola and Rwanda.

--IBNS (Posted on 31-12-2013)

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