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Monday, January 23, 2006 

Ad Melkert Posted by Picasa
Ad Melkert Joins Administrator Kemal Dervis in UNDP Leadership Team

Secretary-General Annan Appoints Melkert of the Netherlands as Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of UN’s Development Agency

United Nations, January 17, 2006 – Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Ad Melkert to serve as Under-Secretary-General and the Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Melkert, a Dutch national, will begin on 1 March 2006.

“I’m excited that Ad Melkert will be joining me in leading UNDP. The Secretary-General has made a superb choice, given Ad’s experience and accomplishments across many development issues, including democratic governance and women’s empowerment,” said UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis. “I look forward to working with him to help all countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”

Since November 2002, Melkert has represented the Dutch constituency as an Executive Director of the World Bank, where he has been a strong advocate for increased donor coordination and harmonization, and the need for more equitable development policies, good governance and democratic institutions.

Melkert has a longstanding involvement in issues of international and development cooperation. He was active in the international and European youth movements and worked for Novib, a Dutch non-governmental organization active in development issues. He served as Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, and in Parliament was a member of the Standing Committees for Foreign Affairs and Development Co-operation.

As Minister, responsible for his country’s Department of Equal Opportunities, he led the Dutch delegations to the UN World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995) and the annual meetings of the International Labor Organizations.

Previously, Melkert had a prominent political career in the Dutch Labour Party, where he was one of the youngest members of the Lower House of Parliament. He became his party's parliamentary leader in 1998. In 2001 he was elected party leader, succeeding then-Prime Minister Wim Kok.

“UNDP is on the front lines every day around the world, assisting those who need it most,” said Melkert. “I am honored to have this opportunity to work with Kemal Dervis and the entire UNDP team on the invaluable work they do in support of the world’s poor.”

As Associate Administrator, Melkert will oversee UNDP’s programme operations as well as take on other leadership responsibilities in the organization, said Dervis in announcing the appointment. UNDP focuses on helping developing countries build capacity in the areas of democratic governance, conflict prevention and recovery, poverty reduction, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS. In all of its work, UNDP seeks to promote human rights and the empowerment of women.

Melkert holds a Master's degree in Political Sciences from the University of Amsterdam. He is married to Chilean painter Mónica León Borquez and has two daughters. In addition to his Dutch, he speaks English, German, French, and Spanish.

He succeeds Zéphirin Diabré, who will become a Director at AREVA, a private industrial company.

Christina LoNigro in New York at +1-212-906-5301 or Christina.lonigro@undp.org.

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