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Annan Starts Reshuffle of Senior UN Management

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday appointed Mark Malloch Brown, administrator of the UN Development Program (UNDP), as his new chief of staff in what he said was part of a planned reshuffle of the world body's management.

Annan announced the appointment at a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, presenting his new top aide as "immensely capable leader and manager."

Brown will start on Jan. 19 to take the place of the 70-year-old Pakistani, Iqbal Riza, who will soon retire after having served as chief of Annan's cabinet for seven years. His request for retirement was accepted by Annan last December.

Annan said Brown will assist him and Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette in improving and overhauling the management of the United Nations as well as organizing a global summit in September to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN's birth.

"Mark Malloch Brown's management success at UNDP is already driving far-reaching change and, together with his policy and communications skills and wide knowledge of the UN system, makes him my ideal right hand man at a time like this," he stressed.

Brown, a 51-year-old Briton, will continue to head UNDP until his replacement is named.

The UN chief said that he believed Brown's new posting will not have any "negative impact" on the UN relief operations in countries hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Brown had been vice president for external affairs of the World Bank since January 1996 before taking the post of UNDP administrator in July 1999.

Brown said it is a privilege to have been asked to help Annan manage the next stage of UN reforms and he is confident that "with the dedication and commitment of our staff and supporters, the UN will rise to the challenge."

Annan said he will reshuffle the UN senior management to pursue in the next two years his two top priorities, UN reforms and the implementation of millennium development goals.

Other senior UN officials who decided to leave are Catherine Bertini, under-secretary-general for administration and management, and Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, the UN controller.

Bertini, who has been the top UN management official since January 2003, is expected to leave early this year.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2005)

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