New UN Resident Coordinator presents credentials to Foreign Minister08 Nov 2017
The United Nations Secretary-General has appointed Ms. Mia Seppo of Finland as the new UN Resident Coordinator and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh.
Ms. Seppo has called on the Honourable Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali today and presented her credentials to officially begin her tenure in Bangladesh.
Ms. Seppo succeeds Mr. Robert D. Watkins who has completed his service in the UN System in October 2017. Prior to her appointment in Bangladesh, Ms. Seppo has served as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi from April 2013 to October 2017, where among other initiatives she coordinated the UN system and partner support to the tripartite elections held in May 2014, the devastating floods in 2015 and humanitarian response to the food insecurity in 2016-2017 that targeted 6.7 million people which is 40% of the population.
Between 2010 and 2013, she served as the UNDP Country Director in Sierra Leone, leading the UN support to the tripartite elections held in 2012. Ms. Seppo contributed to the UN’s work on aid coordination and development effectiveness in both countries. In partnership with the Peace Building Mission, Ms. Seppo led UNDP’s work on conflict prevention in Sierra Leone and the establishment of a National Peace Architecture in Malawi.
Prior to her field assignments in Africa, Ms. Seppo served in the Regional Bureau for Africa in New York from 2005 to 2010, covering a portfolio of crisis countries, in particular the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Earlier, Ms. Seppo worked for a decade on the countries of the former Soviet Union focusing on Central Asia and the Caucasus, as part of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS in the UN HQs in New York. She was appointed as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Tajikistan in 2002 to support the post-conflict recovery and reintegration programmes of UNDP, in particular at a decentralized level.
Ms. Seppo is very pleased to be in Bangladesh, “The country has made some major strides in the last couple of decades. I am looking forward to contributing in keeping that momentum, and at the same time, finding ways to address some of the challenges to ensure that we leave no one behind in our forthcoming walk towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. The humanitarian as well as the development challenges that are unfolding in Cox’s Bazar area require our particular attention. I extend my full commitment to provide support to the national and local authorities and all of our partners in assisting the Rohingya refugees,” she said.
Ms. Seppo started her UN career in 1996 with a special focus on governance and human rights issues. Prior to her joining the UN, Ms. Seppo worked for civil society and think tanks, including the Finnish Committee for European Security.
Ms. Seppo is a Finnish national and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland.