Press Releases

    SG/A/836
    AFR/622
    23 May 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS WILLIAM LACY SWING AS
    NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR DEMOCRATIC
    REPUBLIC OF CONGO

    NEW YORK, 22 May (UN Headquarters) -- In a letter dated 16 May 2003, addressed to the President of the Security Council, the Secretary-General informed Council members of his intention to appoint William Lacy Swing of the United States to succeed Amos Namanga Ngongi as his Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Mr. Swing’s appointment would be effective on 1 July 2003.

    William Swing was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Western Sahara since November 2001. Prior to that, he was a career United States diplomat who served as a United States Ambassador, mainly in Africa.

    Mr. Swing’s diplomatic career, which began in 1963, included five postings as Ambassador to African countries -- South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the former People’s Republic of the Congo, now Republic of the Congo. His sixth post representing his country was from 1993 to 1998, when he was Ambassador to Haiti.

    William Lacy Swing was born in 1934 in Lexington, North Carolina. He graduated from Catawba College (B.A. 1956) in North Carolina, and Yale University (B.D. 1960). After post-graduate studies at Tuebingen University, Germany, he taught at a private German boarding school before entering the Foreign Service. Ambassador Swing is fluent in French and German, and also speaks Afrikaans, Lingala and Creole. He is married to Yuen Cheong. The Swings have a son, Brian, and daughter, Gabrielle.

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