UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appoints Russian diplomat as first head of new Counterterrorism Office

June 22, 2017 2:50 pm

Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov, who has been appointed as the first head of new Counterterrorism Office (file photo)

The (UN)’s Secretary-General has appointed a veteran Russian diplomat, Vladimir Voronkov, as the first head of the world body’s newly established Counterterrorism Office.
Voronkov “will provide strategic leadership to UN counterterrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the UN and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in [its] work,” Guterres’ deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said while announcing the appointment on Wednesday.
The appointment came a week after the 193-member UN General Assembly agreed to establish the new office with an objective to boost counterterrorism efforts, which had previously been distributed among several UN agencies and departments.
On Tuesday, Guterres said at a press conference that the world body had “a problem of coordination of the 38 entities that within the UN deal with counterterrorism. So it makes full sense to have a dedicated office.”
Voronkov, 64, who henceforth has the high-level rank of undersecretary-general, has over 30 years of experience with the Russian foreign service, working primarily within the UN. He had served as ’s representative to UN organizations in Vienna, Austria, since 2011, including the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, which deals with counterterrorism.
Voronkov has also served as Russia’s deputy ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in (OSCE), from 2005 to 2008, and on the board of governors of the UN’s global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“The secretary-general considers counterterrorism and prevention of violent extremism to be one of the highest priorities of the United Nations to address a growing threat to international peace and security,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric also said on the necessity of creating the new office.
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