Press Releases

19 December 2008

Secretary-General Appoints Jan Kubiš of Slovakia to Head United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

VIENNA, 19 December (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). Mr. Kubiš, who will replace Marek Belka of Poland, will assume his new functions in the middle of January 2009.

The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Belka, whose leadership and insight have been highly effective and who has played a key role in steering ECE towards success and turning it into a highly useful mechanism.

Mr. Kubiš has outstanding qualifications and numerous accomplishments in his own country and internationally, in the area of diplomacy, foreign security policy, as well as international economic relations. Mr. Kubiš has served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia since 2006, as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, from 2007 to 2008, and as Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), from 1999 to 2005.

Among his previous functions, Mr. Kubiš was the European Union's Special Representative for Central Asia with the office in Brussels from 2005 to 2006. In 2000, he was the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of OSCE for Central Asia, Director of OSCE's Conflict Prevention Centre, from 1994 to 1998, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Tajikistan and Head of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan, from 1998 to 1999.

A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Mr. Kubiš worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the former Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992.

Mr. Kubiš, who is married and has one daughter, was born in Bratislava in 1952.

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