4 January 2005

Secretary-General Appoints Mark Malloch Brown Chef de Cabinet

NEW YORK, 31a December (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the appointment of Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as his Chef de Cabinet.

Mr. Annan said that Mr. Malloch Brown, who will continue to serve as head of the UNDP, would assist him and Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette in leading major initiatives to improve the performance and overhaul the management of the United Nations, leading up to a planned global summit to be held in New York in September.

“The next nine months offers a real opportunity to push through a new round of reforms aimed at revitalizing the United Nations system to ensure it is better equipped to deal with the scale and complexity of 21st century challenges”, Mr. Annan said. “Mark Malloch Brown’s management success at UNDP is already driving far-reaching change and, together with his policy and communications skills and wide knowledge of the UN system, makes him my ideal right-hand man at a time like this.”

Mr. Annan said he believed the strong synergies between the two portfolios consisting of a shared priority of management reform combined with the need to weld links between the development and security agendas in the run-up to the summit meant that it made sense initially for Mr. Malloch Brown to retain his UNDP post while working as Chef de Cabinet.

More immediately, the Secretary-General said that, given his own direct involvement in leading the United Nations response to the tsunami and the fact that the recovery phase in affected countries would fall heavily on the UNDP and the United Nations Development Group that Mr. Malloch Brown chairs, there was a strong need to ensure continuity in the UNDP together with a close and direct link to the Office of the Secretary-General. At a suitable time he said he would nominate a new Administrator of the UNDP.

The Secretary-General is leaving tonight for Indonesia to launch an Emergency Appeal for victims of the tsunami. Mr. Malloch Brown, as UNDP Administrator, will be part of the United Nations delegation.

Mr. Malloch Brown will be replacing Iqbal Riza who is retiring after more than 25 years in the United Nations, the last eight as Mr. Annan’s Chef de Cabinet.

Mr. Malloch Brown said he was deeply honoured to have been asked to play this new role. “This is a pivotal moment in the UN’s history and it is a privilege to be asked by the Secretary-General to help him to manage the next stage of reform,” he said. “I have no illusions about the immensity of the task, but I am confident that, with the dedication and commitment of our staff and supporters, the UN will rise to the challenge.”

A British national, Mr Malloch Brown was appointed head of the UNDP by the Secretary-General in 1999 (see Press Release BIO/3226 of 23 April 1999) and was unanimously approved by the General Assembly for a second four-year term in 2003. During his tenure, Mr. Malloch Brown has overseen a comprehensive reform effort that has been widely recognized as having made the UNDP more focused and effective and has been rewarded by a 40 per cent increase in resources.

Around half of the UNDP’s technical assistance resources are now broadly devoted to supporting democratic governance around the world, a new advocacy dimension is reflected in pioneering publications like the Arab Human Development Reports, and the organization’s strengthened operational leadership has been demonstrated in post-conflict situations such as Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Iraq. Mr Malloch Brown’s management reforms have included reducing the size of the UNDP headquarters, putting more skilled staff in the field, and successfully introducing a new performance-based management and recruitment system.

As Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all United Nations funds, programmes and departments working on development issues, Mr. Malloch Brown has also been at the forefront of efforts to ensure a more coherent and effective United Nations response to development challenges worldwide, as well as leading the United Nations system’s work to support the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

At the five year review of the Millennium Declaration this September, heads of State and government will be seeking to reach agreement on a wide set of recommendations relating to United Nations reform and global security and development challenges. The Secretary-General plans to issue a report in March reviewing implementation of the Declaration and setting out a proposed agenda for the Summit. That report will draw on many of the recommendations contained in the recent report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, as well as the Millennium Project, a 3-year effort sponsored by the UNDP that has brought together over 250 policy makers, practitioners and experts from around the world to assess what actions need to be taken for the world to meet the 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals, that will be launched in New York later this month.

* *** *