Canadian Robert Watkins appointed new UN deputy envoy for Afghanistan
27 May 2009 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Robert Watkins of Canada as deputy United Nations envoy for Afghanistan, with responsibility for development and humanitarian affairs.
In addition to being Mr. Ban’s Deputy Special Representative, Mr. Watkins will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan.
Mr. Watkins brings to this position broad experience in preparing and managing responses to complex humanitarian emergencies and post-conflict recovery programmes in the Middle East, the Caribbean and Europe/CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States].
Since 2006, he has served as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Georgia.
He replaces Bo Asplund of Sweden who will be completing his assignment with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) this summer.
UNAMA is headed by Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, and has two main areas of operation – development and humanitarian affairs, currently headed by Mr. Asplund, and political affairs, headed by Peter W. Galbraith.
“The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Asplund for his dedicated service for the past two years in Afghanistan,” UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.