David Shearer Formally Appointed To Lead UN Peacekeeping Mission In South Sudan

 Hon. David Shearer, new UNMISS head and Special Representative to UN Secretary General in South Sudan (Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski)

Hon. David Shearer, new UNMISS head and Special Representative to UN Secretary General in South Sudan (Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski)

December 13, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— (News from stuff.co.nz) —— Labour MP David Shearer has officially been chosen to head up the United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts in war-torn South Sudan, ending a seven-year political career.

Shearer is expected to take up the new role at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) early next year, sparking a by-election in his Mt Albert seat.

UNMISS is the UN’s third largest peacekeeping mission, with 17,000 uniformed and almost 2000 civilian personnel and a roughly $1 billion budget.

In a statement announcing Shearer’s appointment, UNMISS said he would bring “extensive political and humanitarian experience” to the role.

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Labour leader Andrew Little said Shearer’s appointment was “a huge credit to him and to New Zealand”.

“The Labour Party congratulates David on what will be a demanding role, but one that has a humanitarian focus which he’s passionate about.

“We’re very proud of David who is the only New Zealander to ever be appointed to run a UN peacekeeping operation.”

He had made a significant contribution to Labour during his time in Parliament, and would have made a fine Foreign Affairs Minister in a Labour-led government, Little said.

Shearer was Labour Party leader from December 2011 to September, 2013, quitting because he felt he did not have the full support of his caucus.

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Before joining in Parliament, he worked as a United Nations co-ordinator of aid in Africa, the Balkans, and as head of Save the Children Fund in Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq and Sri Lanka.

There followed a stint as a researcher in London and as adviser to then foreign affairs minister Phil Goff in the Beehive until 2002.

But, in 2003, he was back in Jerusalem as the head of the UN’s humanitarian office.

He went on to lead UN humanitarian work in Lebanon and, from 2007-09, was head of the UN mission in Iraq, then became deputy head of the UN Development Programme in Iraq before getting the top job.

Shearer, who gave his valedictory speech on Tuesday, will resign from Parliament on December 31.

 – Stuff

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