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Yohannes Mengesha
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Yohannes Mengesha

Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management

Mr. Yohannes Mengesha, a national of Ethiopia, was appointed as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management on 26 April 2006. As Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General, he supervises the divisions that deal with translation, interpretation, meetings and publishing. He chairs the Inter-departmental Task Force on Documentation, as well as the Board that oversees the implementation of a global Information Technology initiative covering conference services at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi. He is also Chairperson of the High-level Penal for the UN 21 Awards, which was established by the Secretary-General to recognize innovations in the delivery of the Organization's programmes and services.

Prior to joining the Department on 1 June 2006, Mr. Mengesha served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary-General in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. From 1998 to 2005, he was Principal Officer in the same office. During his assignment in the Executive Office for the Secretary-General, Mr. Mengesha provided advice and support on economic, social and development issues, including on matters related to Africa's development; regional coordination; post-conflict reconstruction and strategic frameworks for integrated missions; and management and institutional reform. He coordinated the negotiations on the establishment of the UN Democracy Fund, one of the first deliverables of the 2005 World Summit. He also coordinated the organization of various high-level events of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General, including the 2005 World Summit and the High-level Meeting on Climate Change convened by the Secretary-General in September 2007.

Mr. Mengesha's earlier service in the UN Secretariat included the position of Senior Adviser to the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (1992-1994). He organized and served as Secretary for the Humanitarian Conference for Somalia in October 1993, and also headed a working group on reconstruction during the National Reconciliation Conference on Somalia in March 1993. Between 1996 and 1998, he held the position of Director, Iraq Programme, in the Department of Humanitarian Affairs.

Mr. Mengesha joined the United Nations in 1976 as Project Officer in the Eastern Caribbean Office of the World Food Programe (WFP) in Trinidad and Tobago (1976-1980). Between 1994 and 1996, he was Regional Manager of the Eastern and Southern Africa Bureau at WFP Headquarters in Rome, with responsibility for emergency, rehabilitation and development programmes in some 20 countries. He was a member of WFP's delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. He also held various posts at WFP Headquarters (1980-1992). In May 1988, he led an appraisal mission to the Autonomous Region of Tibet in China which resulted in the launch of a major development project. He has represented the Organization at numerous regional and international conferences.

Mr. Mengesha holds a bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts in Law from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. He participated in a course on Planning and Managing Agricultural Projects at Bradford University in 1986. He also attended a Seminar for Diplomats on Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation (July 1993), and a Fellowship Programme on Peacekeeping and Preventive Diplomacy (September 1993).

(China.org.cn June 2, 2008)

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