Press Releases

SG/A/797
CA/23
19 April 2002

SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS TOM KÖNIGS OF GERMANY AS
SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE IN GUATEMALA, HEAD OF MINUGUA


NEW YORK, 18 April (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokes- man for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General has decided to appoint Tom Königs of Germany as his Special Representative in Guatemala and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), effective 1 August. He will replace Gerd Merrem, who has led the Mission since August 2000.

Since August 1999, Mr. Königs has served as Deputy Special Representative for Civil Administration of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Between 1993 and 1997, Mr. Königs was the Treasurer of the city of Frankfurt, with responsibility for the city’s billion-deutsche mark budget. During that period, he focused on systematically increasing the efficiency of public services and modernizing the city’s administration. Earlier, he headed Frankfurt’s Environmental Protection Department with oversight for environmental protection, sewage management, the fire department and the energy supply. In 1995, he helped create the first Ministry for Environmental Protection of the federal state of Hesse.

Mr. Königs was born in Frankfurt-am-Main and trained as a banker in Germany and the United Kingdom. He earned a university degree in business administration in Berlin. He is married and has three adult children.

The Secretary-General wishes to thank Mr. Merrem for his excellent service and distinguished career at the United Nations. During the last two years as the head of MINUGUA, Mr. Merrem encouraged political alliances around the peace agenda and mobilized all to ensure the irreversibility of the peace process in Guatemala.

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