UN Secretary-General Appoints Hany Abdel-Aziz of Egypt as Special Representative for Western Sahara

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Hany Abdel-Aziz of Egypt as his Special Representative for Western Sahara and the Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

Mr. Abdel-Aziz will succeed Julian Harston, who was appointed as Director of the United Nations Office in Belgrade on 1 March 2009. The Secretary-General is grateful both to Mr. Harston and to Major General Jingmin Zhao of China, who has been fulfilling the responsibilities of Officer-in-Charge of the Mission for the past seven months, for their dedication and tireless work in fulfilling those responsibilities, primarily in administrative roles. Mr. Abdel-Aziz began his service with the United Nations as an Arabic interpreter in Geneva in 1981.

Mr. Abdel-Aziz graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1964 and received an advanced degree in Economics from the University of Cairo in 1975. Mr. Abdel-Aziz is fluent in Arabic, French and English. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1946, and has two daughters.

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