• Merio Jimmy

South African Nicholas Haysom appointed as new head of UNMISS

Merio Jimmy, Juba

The UN Secretary General has today announced the appointment of Nicholas Haysom as his Special Representative for South Sudan and new head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Haysom will replace New Zealander David Shearer, who the Secretary General has thanked for his exemplary leadership of UNMISS through a particularly crucial time for South Sudan.

Haysom is currently the Secretary General’s special advisor for Southern Africa, a position he has held since October 2020. As a lawyer with a long career in international affairs, he has sought to focus on on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes throughout his career.

From 2019 to 2020, Mr. Haysom served as the Secretary General’s special adviser on Sudan. From 2018 to 2019, he was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Somalia (UNSOM). He also served as Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2014 to 2016, and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan from 2012 to 2014. From 2007 to 2012, he served as Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General, and from 2005 to 2007, as head of the Office of Constitutional Support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq.

From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Haysom was the principal adviser to mediators in the Sudanese Peace Process. He was involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as Chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues from 1999 to 2002 under the facilitation of late former President Nelson Mandela, and served in the Government of South Africa as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of the President from 1994 to 1999.

Mr. Haysom earned a degree in law from the Universities of Natal and Cape Town in South Africa. He has also received the honorary doctorates from the University of Cape Town and the New York Law School.

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