UN Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed new Executive Secretaries for three of the UN regional commissions: the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
At UNECE, Olga Algayerova will succeed Christian Friis Bach in May 2017. Algayerova is currently Permanent Representative of Slovakia to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria. Commenting on the appointment of Algayerova, Bach noted that UNECE and the other Regional Commissions will have “an important role to play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will require accrued economic integration and cooperation.”
Guterres appointed Vera Songwe as UNECA’s next Executive Secretary, succeeding Carlos Lopes. Songwe, of Cameroon, is the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Regional Director for West and Central Africa. She will be the first woman to serve in the role.
The UN also announced the appointment of Mohamed Ali Alhakim as the next Executive Secretary of ESCWA, succeeding Rima Khalaf. Alhakim has served as Permenent Representative of Iraq to the UN in Geneva, among other roles