The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Colin Stewart, arrives in Cyprus today, replacing Elizabeth Spehar whose term ended on November 30, 2021.
According to a press release on the arrival of the new UN Special Representative in Cyprus, Stewart formally assumes his duties also as the Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General (DSASG) on Cyprus.
“I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor, Elizabeth Spehar, for her stalwart leadership of UNFICYP and the Good Offices Mission," Steward said. He also stressed that he is aware of the importance of UNFICYP’s mandate in the lives of all Cypriots.
Colin Stewart said that he looks forward to continuing the work of the United Nations in Cyprus and hopes to forge strong working relationships with all stakeholders and learn from them "so that, together, we can hopefully bring a lasting peace to the island".
Stewart will meet with the two leaders, other senior officials, civil society representatives, members of the diplomatic community, and the United Nations family across the island over the coming weeks.
According to the same press release, Stewart, who until recently served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) (2017-2021), brings to the role a long record of leadership, diplomacy and effective management, with over 28 years of experience in peace, security and international affairs.
Prior to MINURSO, he served as Deputy Head and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa, and held appointments in several United Nations field missions, including as Acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Affairs at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (2007-2009). He was a Canadian diplomat from 1990 to 1997.
Stewart is a graduate of Laval University in Canada. He is fluent in English and French.