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US security expert named UN security chief

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Gregory Starr, the US State Department’s security director, as the new UN security chief overseeing the world body’s far-flung security operations.

world Updated: May 07, 2009 17:38 IST

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the appointment of Gregory Starr, the US State Department’s security director, as the new UN security chief overseeing the world body’s far-flung security operations.

Starr is responsible for protecting more than 285 US embassies and consulates overseas as well as 100 domestic facilities.

UN spokeswoman Michele Montas, who announced Starr’s appointment as undersecretary-general for safety and security on Wednesday, said he was chosen ‘‘mindful of the immediate need to tackle the heightened serious security risks facing the organization around the world.’’

He replaces David Veness of Britain who resigned last June over the December 2007 truck bombing at U.N. offices and another building in Algiers that killed 17 UN staffers and injured 40 others.

An expert panel found ‘‘gaps and weaknesses’’ in the UN’s overall security operations due to cost-cutting. Starr, 56, previously served with the State Department in Israel, Senegal, Tunisia and Congo.