UN Chief appoints Colin Stewart as new head of UNFICYP and acting Special Adviser on Cyprus

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday announced the appointment of Colin Stewart of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

A press release issued by the UN said Stewart will also perform the role of Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus.

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, the UN added.

Steward 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 (MINURSO) (2017-2021), 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 (UNMIT) (2007 to 2009). He was a Canadian diplomat from 1990 to 1997. Stewart is a graduate of Laval University in Canada. He is fluent in English and French.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third. Numerous rounds of talks under UN auspices to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.

Source: Cyprus News Agency