For information only - not an official document.
Biographical Note Press Release No: UNIS/SG/A/127
Release Date:   3 August 2000
Secretary-General Appoints Gerd D. Merrem as Special
Representative in Guatemala, Head of MINUGUA

 NEW YORK, 2 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Gerd D. Merrem as his Special Representative in Guatemala and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), effective 1 August.  He will replace Jean Arnault, who is now serving as the Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations office in Burundi. 

 Mr. Merrem, a German national, has extensive experience within the United Nations system.  Most recently, from 1996-1998, he served as the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Tajikistan, where he was involved with peace treaty negotiations and implementation.  Prior to that, he was the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Operations for the United Nations International Drug Control Programme in Vienna. 

 A substantive portion of Mr. Merrem's career has been spent working on behalf of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). From 1990 to 1992 he was the Resident Representative for the UNDP's office in Myanmar.  During the 1980s, he served as the Resident Representative for the UNDP's office in Angola (1984-1987) and Equatorial Guinea (1980-1983).  Earlier, Mr. Merrem worked as the Deputy Resident Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania (1978-1980), and as the Assistant Resident Representative in Indonesia (1973-1978). 

 While attending the Technical University of Hanover and Berlin, Mr. Merrem received the equivalent of a Masters of Science degree in Mining and Oil Engineering.  He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Free University of Berlin, where he studied Philosophy, History and Journalism. 

 Born 4 June 1938, Mr. Merrem is married with two children.  He is fluent in German, English, Spanish and Portuguese, has a working knowledge of French, and speaks some Swedish and Bahasa.

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