UN appoints new refugee chief

Filippo Grandi to replace Antonio Guterres as high commissioner for refugees

UN appoints new refugee chief

World Bulletin / News Desk

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appointed a veteran diplomat from Italy as the new UN refugee chief.

Filippo Grandi, who served as the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East from 2010 to 2014, will replace Antonio Guterres of Portugal, who was high commissioner for refugees since 2005, on Jan. 1.

The 58-year-old diplomat has had a long-standing career with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), most notably as chief of mission in Afghanistan, Ban said in a statement.

"His vast UNHCR field experience includes various positions in Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, having also led emergency operations in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and Yemen," said Ban.

Grandi's appointment requires the endorsement of the 193-member UN General Assembly, which is largely a formality.

In June, the UNHCR said worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded, with the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 having risen to about 60 million.

The latest figure marks an 8 million increase from a year earlier, according to the agency.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Kasım 2015, 11:01