UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Saudi national Abdulaziz Ar-Rukban as his Special Humanitarian Envoy, the Ministry of Hajj announced today. He is the first Saudi and Arab to hold the post.
Ar-Rukban will ensure close cooperation between the UN and governments and organizations in the Middle East and North Africa that provide humanitarian aid. The appointment is part of a wider effort to improve global humanitarian efforts through partnerships.
Ar-Rukban previously served as Special International Ambassador for the UN World Food Program (WFP).
In a statement, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said that Ar-Rukban brought extensive knowledge to the job.
“I expect that his renewed commitment to work with the United Nations will be of great benefit to the humanitarian community and especially to the suffering people we serve,” Holmes said, as quoted in the announcement.
Ar-Rukban said that he will do his best to establish an effective partnership between the UN and Saudi Arabia to formulate plans aimed at transferring international expertise in the humanitarian field to the Kingdom.