12 February 2004

Jean Arnault Appointed Special Representative of Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

NEW YORK, 11 February (UN Headquarters) -- Jean Arnault of France has been appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  He will replace Lakhdar Brahimi (Algeria) who relinquished the post on 6 January 2004.

Mr. Arnault was born in 1951 and has served with the United Nations since 1989.  He has held a variety of appointments including Political Affairs Officer in Namibia in 1989, Senior Political Affairs Officer in Kabul in 1990, followed by a tour in Western Sahara, and work as an observer and then moderator in Guatemala.

Mr. Arnault was appointed Special Representative for Guatemala in 1997 followed by a similar appointment to Burundi in 2000.

Mr. Arnault has most recently served in Afghanistan as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Political Affairs since March 2002.

Mr. Arnault graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris in 1976 and received further training in conference interpretation in London in 1980.  He is fluent in French, English, Russian and Spanish.  He was a visiting fellow at the Centre for International Studies at Princeton University in 2001.

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