High Commissioner welcomes nomination of successor
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata on Wednesday welcomed the announcement in New York of the nomination of Professor Ruud Lubbers, former Dutch Prime Minister, as her successor.
Prof. Lubbers' nomination was announced today at United Nations headquarters by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"Professor Lubbers is a highly respected statesman with a wealth of international experience that will be of immense benefit to UNHCR and the 22.3 million people it currently protects and assists worldwide," Mrs. Ogata said. "As a former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Prof. Lubbers helped foster strong and longstanding ties between the Netherlands and UNHCR - a relationship that continues to this day. We at UNHCR are highly appreciative of that support and I'm sure all of my colleagues join me in congratulating Prof. Lubbers on his nomination."
Mrs. Ogata ends nearly 10 years as High Commissioner on December 31. Her term, which began in 1991, spanned one of the most tumultuous decades in UNHCR's 50-year history. The agency, which has more than 5,000 staff in some 120 countries, marks the 50th anniversary of its founding on December 14.