New UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed veteran Indian diplomat Vijay Nambiar as his chief of staff and Haitian journalist Michele Montas as his spokesperson.
"Today's appointments will serve as a solid basis for establishing my team and pursuing a programme of reform of the Secretariat to provide continuity along with change," Ban said while announcing the appointments on Sunday.
Ban said he had known Nambiar for a long time and "we share deep confidence and respect for each other."
Reacting to it, 63-year old Nambiar said it is a great responsibility. "I feel honoured that the Secretary-General has put his trust in me."
Nambiar, who held several senior positions during his career with the Indian Foreign Service and has intimate knowledge of working of UN, will be among the closest advisers of Ban and have a major influence in the selection of incumbents for other senior positions as also in the policy making.
He was Special adviser to outgoing Secretary General Kofi Annan whom Ban succeeded and the new appointment takes him to highest echelon of the UN hierarchy.
Ban also appointed Montas, who has experience at the UN, as his spokesperson. She is an award-winning journalist from Haiti.
He is expected to announce more senior appointments over the next few days.