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UN Under Secrtary General, involved in Cyprus, to retire
2005-05-19 11:45:28

Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has announced with ''real regret'' the retirement of UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, who will leave Department of Political Affairs (DPA) at the end of June, but will remain on staff until the end of the year.

Prendergast is currently engaged in consultations at the UN with a Cypriot delegation, led by presidential envoy Ambassador Tasos Tzionis, on the prospects of resuming negotiations for a political settlement.

Prendergast, who is expected to visit the region for talks on Cyprus at the beginning of June, after taking accumulated leave due to him during the summer he will, at the Secretary General's request, spend the fall semester as a Goodman Fellow at Harvard University, where he will write a report drawing on his experience at DPA and recommending how the United Nations can best fulfil its responsibilities in the areas of mediation support and conflict resolution.

A statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary General said ''it is with real regret that the Secretary General announces the retirement of Kieran Prendergast, who has been Under Secretary General for Political Affairs since March 1997.''

''He wishes to thank Sir Kieran for his outstanding service in that post over the past eight years, during which he has given invaluable advice on many of the most difficult issues that the United Nations has to confront, as well as conducting many sensitive diplomatic missions and managing one of the Organization's most important departments,'' the statement noted.

The spokesman said ''meanwhile, the Secretary-General is reviewing possible replacements for Sir Kieran at the head of DPA. Since his own mandate will only run for a further eighteen months after Sir Kieran's departure, his priority is to find someone already thoroughly familiar with the work of the United Nations, who can ensure full continuity in the leadership of the Department. He expects to make an announcement shortly.''

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