NEW YORK, 6 July (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Cheick Sidi Diarra of Mali as the new High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, taking over from Anwarul Karim Chowdhury of Bangladesh. Mr. Chowdhury’s term of office ended on 30 June.
Announcing the appointment, Marie Okabe, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General told correspondents at UN Headquarters in New York that Mr. Moon considers the full mobilization and coordination of the UN System in support of the least developed, landlocked and small island developing countries as a high priority of his and reflects his commitment to the developmental objectives of this organization.
In order to make the United Nations more effective in serving the special needs of these countries, it is essential to consolidate the limited resources of the Organization and ensure reliable linkages with all key actors in the UN system and beyond. This includes advocacy, in favour of the requirements of these countries with donor governments and organizations, with civil society, media, academia and other institutions. It also includes the crucial role of mobilizing international support and resources in real terms. In order to achieve these goals, the Secretary-General has been looking for ways and means to strengthen the Office of the High Representative and to build on its existing functions and resources.
Okabe said that as part of this initiative, it is timely to strengthen the Organization’s focus on Africa. After consultations with African leaders, and with a view to complementing the re-configuration of the Office of the Special Adviser for Africa (OSAA), the Secretary-General intends to designate the new HRLLS to serve as the focal point at UN Headquarters for African economic and social issues, including the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD). ECA will remain the field focal point for NEPAD. In this connection, we are addressing a letter to the Chairman of the ACABQ for the information of members. The General Assembly will also be suitably consulted in due course.
She went on: “In order better to serve the needs of LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS, through improved institutional coherence between the Office of the High Representative and UNCTAD, the Secretary-General intends to designate the High Representative, in addition to his existing functions, as the Special Representative of UNCTAD at UN Headquarters”. In that capacity, the High Representative will be fully supported by the substantive Divisions of UNCTAD, especially the Division for Africa, LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS. The UNCTAD liaison office in New York will also be placed under him, she added.
Mr. Diarra, who currently serves as Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations in New York is expected to take up his new functions in early August.
He has over 25 years of professional experience in international relations, law and development. He has advanced and first-hand knowledge and experience of bilateral and multilateral relations and proven skills in international negotiations and international consensus-building. He was also involved in the national reconciliation efforts of Mali which paved the road to the country’s peaceful and democratic development.
The new High Representative has been actively involved in furthering African integration efforts and the African development agenda at the international level. He has served as one of the lead negotiators on these issues at the African Union summits since 1982. Multilateral diplomacy has been the major area of his long diplomatic career. From his decade long experience dealing with the United Nations, Ambassador Diarra acquired first hand knowledge and experience of multifaceted issues of the United Nations and its intergovernmental processes in particular. Ambassador Diarra made important contributions to the reform process of the United Nations aimed at strengthening the global role of the Organization in economic and development matters.
He co-chaired the open-ended informal consultations on strengthening the role of ECOSOC which resulted in the adoption of the General Assembly resolution 61/16. He also co-chaired the informal consultations resolution 60/265 on follow-up to the development outcome of the 2005 World Summit, including MDGs. Ambassador Diarra also is also part of the informal group of Ambassadors known as the “Friends of the system-wide coherence”. He has been an active advocate for the cause of Africa, the Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries as his country uniquely represents all these three groups of countries. Because of his well known efforts, he was recently elected as Chairman of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries.
Mr. Diarra obtained masters degrees in international public law and international relations from Dakar University, Senegal. He was born on 31 May 1957 in Kayes, Mali. He is married with two children.
For further information, please contact Derrick E. Bwalya, Information Officer, United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small. Tel: (917) 367-2471. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.un.org/ohrlls/ Island Developing States