Swiss diplomat appointed to high level position in the UN System

Bern, Press release, 31.05.2013

Diplomat Thomas Gass, who is now Switzerland's ambassador to Nepal, has been appointed today to one of the highest positions in the UN Secretariat. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has chosen him as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs helps countries to tackle economic, social and environmental challenges. Its purpose is to promote development for everyone. It focuses on questions of poverty reduction, climate change, demographic aspects, gender equality and the rights of indigenous populations.

Thomas Gass will take up the post of Assistant Secretary-General for the coordination of political and inter-organisational affairs at the DESA. He will be responsible for the work of DESA in the area of development, including the follow-up of international conferences such as the Rio Conference, the sustainable development goals, the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of UN operational activities and thematic issues such as water and energy. 

This appointment strengthens Switzerland's presence at the highest level of the United Nations Secretariat. It is a position of strategic and political importance.

Thomas Gass is currently the Swiss ambassador in Nepal. He headed the economic and development section of the Swiss mission to the United Nations in New York from 2004 to 2009. He has considerable experience in the field of negotiation and mediation. Switzerland is now making this expertise available to the United Nations.

This appointment underlines Switzerland's commitment to the United Nations. Since it joined in 2002 it has had a high profile on issues such as international cooperation, sustainable development, human security, human rights and reforms designed to make the United Nations more efficient and effective.

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