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UN chief names new envoy for Afghanistan

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Jan Kubis of Slovakia as his special representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

world Updated: Nov 24, 2011 08:13 IST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Jan Kubis of Slovakia as his special representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Kubis succeeds Sweden's Staffan de Mistura, who will complete his assignment as the special representative Dec 31, Xinhua reported citing a statement from Ban's spokesman.

"The secretary-general is grateful to Mr de Mistura for his dedication and leadership of UNAMA, serving in one of the most challenging duty stations during a period that has seen important developments, including parliamentary elections, a high-level international conference held in Kabul, and the beginning of the transition of security responsibilities to the Afghan government," the spokesman said.

"Kubis, who from 2009 served as the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), brings with him more than three decades of experience in the areas of diplomacy, foreign security policy, and international economic relations, both in his own country and internationally," he said.

Kubis served as the minister for foreign affairs of Slovakia from 2006 to 2009, as chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from 2007 to 2008, and as secretary-general of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe from 1999 to 2005.

He has also served with the UN as the special representative of the secretary-general for Tajikistan and head of the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan from 1998 to 1999.

Kubis worked at the ministry of foreign affairs of the former Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992 and thereafter at the ministry of foreign affairs of Slovakia.

A graduate in international economic relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Kubis was born in Bratislava Nov 12, 1952. He speaks Slovak, Czech, English, French and Russian. He is married and has one daughter.