January 7, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – German diplomat Volker Perthes will become the new head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), the United Nations and the Sudanese government said.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres informed the Security Council about the appointment in a letter to the 15-member council on Wednesday, according to a statement by the National Executive Committee for coordination with UNITAMS.
“Perthes brings to this position over 25 years of experience in academia, research, international relations and diplomacy, including with the United Nations, as well as deep expertise in conflict resolution and regional geopolitics,” said the UN spokesperson office in a statement released on Thursday.
The belated appointment of the German official comes after the reported opposition by Russia and China to the appointment of the French diplomat Jean Christophe Billiard who was backed by the Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.
Also, the South African diplomat Nicholas Haysom was also a candidate for the position.
On June 3, the UN Security Council approved the establishment of a political mission in Sudan to support democratic transition and peace implementation, in response to a request by Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.
UNITAMS head served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) from 2005 to September.
Also, he served as Assistant Secretary-General then Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, including as Chairperson of the International Syria Support Group’s Ceasefire Taskforce for Syria on behalf of the United Nations, from 2015 to 2018.
He also speaks Arabic and English fluently.