UNEP chief vies for top seat at UN refugee agency

Nairobi, Sep 28 (IANS) Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), on Monday formally declared his intention to vie for the top seat at the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

In a statement, Steiner revealed he had already submitted his credentials to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon.

“I can confirm I have submitted my candidacy to the Secretary General for the post of UN High Commissioner for Refugees. I also acknowledge with gratitude that my candidacy has been endorsed by the German government,” he remarked.

Among other competitors for the UNHCR top position currently are former Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Italian diplomat Filippo Grandi, a former leader of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), reported Xinhua.

The UN General Assembly in 2006 approved the nomination of Steiner as the UNEP executive director for a four-year term.

In 2010, Steiner’s helm at the UN environmental body was extended up to June 2016.

A German national, Steiner has worked in a number of global bodies that deals with conservation and water resources management.

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