UN Secretary-General appoints Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as Special Coordinator of the OPCW-United Nations Joint Mission

Oct 16, 2013

New York --United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-United Nations Joint Mission to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic. The appointment has been made in close consultations with OPCW Director-General Ahmet Üzümcü.

The establishment of the Joint Mission and the appointment of the Special Coordinator are based on the Secretary-General’s recommendations, formulated after close consultations with the OPCW Director-General, in accordance with Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), as outlined in letters from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council dated 7 and 13 October 2013 and subsequent letters of the President of 11 and 16 October 2013.
Currently serving as Assistant Secretary-General of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (since 2010), Ms. Kaag brings with her a wealth of experience in international organizations and the diplomatic service combined with country experience notably in the Middle East region.   

Ms. Kaag served since 2007 as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Amman, Jordan (2007-2010) and prior to this as Chief of Staff of the Executive Director and as Deputy Director of Programmes of UNICEF in New York.

She also served as Senior United Nations Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Khartoum, Sudan. She was the Chief of Donor Relations with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) during 1998-2004 and Senior Programme Manager with the External Relations Office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), covering the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and the Syria.

Before joining the United Nations system in 1994, she served her country in its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and as Deputy Head of Sector in its United Nations Political Affairs Department in The Hague. Before joining the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Kaag worked for Shell International Petroleum Company in London.

Ms. Kaag holds a Master of Philosophy in international relations of the Middle East from Exeter University, and a Master’s degree in international relations from St. Antony’s College at Oxford University. Beside Dutch, she is fluent in English, French and German, and proficient in Arabic.

Born in 1961, Ms. Kaag is married with four children.

UNDP Around the world