5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on October 16, 2013 appointed Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands as Special Coordinator of the joint Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and United Nations mission to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic. The position is at the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
To the assignment, Ms. Kaag brought a wealth of experience in international organizations and diplomatic service, combined with country experience, notably in the Middle East. Prior, Ms. Kaag was Assistant Secretary-General of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She was Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Amman, Jordan (2007-2010), and earlier as Chief of Staff to the Executive Director and Deputy Director of Programmes in New York. Prior to becoming a Senior Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan, Ms. Kaag served for four years as the Chief of Donor Relations with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Senior Programme Manager with the External Relations Office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Ms. Kaag also served in her country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Head of Sector in the United Nations Political Affairs Department at The Hague. Early in her career, she worked for Shell International Petroleum Company in London.
Ms. Kaag holds a Masters in Philosophy in International Relations from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. She received a second Masters degree in Politics and Economics of the Middle East from University of Exeter where she also recently received an honorary doctorate degree.