Press Releases

    19 May 2005

    Secretary-General Announces Retirement of Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs

    NEW YORK, 18 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    It is with real regret that the Secretary-General announces the retirement of Kieran Prendergast, who has been Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs since March 1997.  He wishes to thank Sir Kieran for his outstanding service in that post over the past eight years, during which he has given invaluable advice on many of the most difficult issues that the United Nations has to confront, as well as conducting many sensitive diplomatic missions and managing one of the Organization’s most important departments.

    Sir Kieran will leave the Department of Political Affairs at the end of June, but will remain on staff until the end of the year.  After taking accumulated leave due to him during the summer he will, at the Secretary-General’s request, spend the fall semester as a Goodman Fellow at Harvard University, where he will write a report drawing on his experience at DPA and recommending how the United Nations can best fulfil its responsibilities in the areas of mediation support and conflict resolution.

    Meanwhile, the Secretary-General is reviewing possible replacements for Sir Kieran at the head of DPA.  Since his own mandate will only run for a further 18 months after Sir Kieran’s departure, his priority is to find someone already thoroughly familiar with the work of the United Nations, who can ensure full continuity in the leadership of the Department.  He expects to make an announcement shortly.

    * *** *