Top UN man in Afghanistan is South African

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed South African Nicholas Haysom as the world body’s top envoy to Afghanistan.

He succeeds Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The Secretary-General is grateful to Kubiš for his “dedication and leadership” of the Mission, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in New York.

Haysom, a lawyer with a long international career focused on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes, currently serves as one of the Deputy Special Representatives for Afghanistan, a post he took up in 2012.

He previously held several positions with the UN as well as with the Government of South Africa, including as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of the President during Nelson Mandela’s 1994-1999 term.



UNAMA, a political mission established by the Security Council in 2002, is tasked with assisting the Government and people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country.