New York- United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has appointed Edmond Mulet of Guatemala as the head of the independent three-member panel to lead the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism that was established by Security Council Resolution 2235 in 2015 on the use of chemicals as weapons in Syria.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his deepest gratitude to the outgoing Head of the Mechanism, Virginia Gamba of Argentina, for her diligence, dedication and professionalism,” a statement issued by Guterres’ press office said on Thursday.
Gamba will be taking the position of Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, replacing Algeria’s Leila Zerrougui.
Mulet most recently served as Chef de Cabinet to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from 2015 to 2016. He was Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2011 through 2015. He also served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) between 2006 and 2007 and 2010 and 2011.
Prior to that, he was Guatemala’s Ambassador to the European Union and the United States. He was a member of Guatemala’s National Congress for 12 years, including one term as its President.
Born in 1951, Mulet was educated in Guatemala, Canada, United States and Switzerland.
In addition to his public service, he worked for many years as a journalist and as a legal counsellor in public institutions and in the private sector.
In a separate statement, Guterres reiterated his call for all parties in Syria to cooperate fully with the Joint Investigation Mechanism, saying he counted on the continued engagement and support of the members of the Security Council as well as the entire UN membership to ensure the effective implementation of the JIM’s mandate.
The Security Council renewed through Resolution 2319 the mandate of the JIM for a further period of one year on November 17, 2016.