United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Ramiz Alakbarov of Azerbaijan as his new Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
While disclosing this on Monday December 21, 2020, UN stated that Alakbarov would also serve as the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Mr. Alakbarov succeeds Toby Lanzer of the United Kingdom, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service.
Mr. Alakbarov brings 25 years of experience in executive leadership, strategic planning and policy making, development programming and management, and humanitarian response, including as the Director of the Policy and Strategy Division in New York and the Country Representative in Haiti for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
From February to July, he was Deputy Executive Director for Management and Assistant Secretary-General, ad-interim, for UNFPA.
Since August, he was the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan, ad-interim.
Mr. Alakbarov has also served as UNFPA Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Office for Arab States (2014–2015) and Head of the Office in South Sudan (2010).
Prior to these positions, he served in various roles within UNFPA supporting country programmes in Arab States, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including as Programme Officer covering Sudan, Somalia and Iraq and as Humanitarian Response Officer for Operations, in Afghanistan, Palestine and the Great Lakes Region.
From 1992 to 1995, he was an Assistant Professor at Azerbaijan Medical University and a practicing physician.
Mr. Alakbarov holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in the United States, and a medical degree and doctorate from Azerbaijan Medical University in Azerbaijan.
He is fluent in English, French and Russian.