David Shearer to head the UN Mission in South Sudan

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has formally appointed David Shearer of New Zealand to head the UN Mission in South Sudan.

The announcement came just six days after Ki-moon notified UN Security Council of his choice.

Last week, a UN diplomatic source familiar with the process was told that UN Secretary-General Ki-moon has picked member of New Zealand parliament to head the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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Shearer, who is set to succeed Ellen Margrethe Løj who resigned last month, will serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head on UMISS in 2017. He is expected to assume his post in early 2017.

According to a UN’s statement, Mr. Shearer served as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator, and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) (2007-2009).  Previously, he held several senior positions with the United Nations, including head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, senior humanitarian adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Chief of OCHA in Belgrade among others. He has conducted various assignments with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Save the Children Fund, and the International Crisis Group, and is the author of numerous publications in the areas of conflict resolution, effective interventions for peace and humanitarian affairs.

Mr Shearer holds an MSc in Resource Management from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.