The United Nations is trying to get new Special Representative and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus Colin Stewart on the ground as soon as it can, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Ferhan Haq said.
Answering questions at the UN regarding the appointment of Stewart, who will also perform the role of Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Haq said he succeeds Elizabeth Spehar of Canada “to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her strong leadership and dedication over the course of her tenure”.
Asked when Stewart will take over, Haq said “it would be a while longer, but we expect, we are trying to get him on the ground as soon as we can”, adding that the UN diplomat, in his previous jobs “has been willing to speak to the press.”
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Stewart ear;ier this week.
Stewart’s appointment comes following a meeting Guterres between Guterres and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in New York on September 27.
According to the UN, Stewart, who most recently served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, brings a demonstrated record of leadership and management, with over 28 years of experience in peace and security and international affairs.
He previously served as Deputy Head and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office to the African Union in Addis Ababa, and held appointments in several United Nations field missions, including as Acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Affairs at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste.
Stewart is a graduate of Laval University in Canada and is fluent in English and French.