Morocco Green Lights Appointment of Kohler, new UNSG Envoy for Sahara

Morocco has given its green light for the appointment of Horst Kohler, former German President (2004-2010), as new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara, succeeding US diplomat Christopher Ross, le360.ma said quoting a diplomatic source.

The Moroccan diplomatic source, which requested not to be named, said that Morocco informed the UN Secretary General in mid-May of its approval of the appointment of Kohler.

The former German President has also received the approval of the Polisario front last April. His appointment will now be submitted for the approval of the UN Security Council before he officially takes office.

By opting for Kohler, the new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres upholds the principle of rotation in Sahara personal envoy between the US and Europe.

Given his background, Köhler is expected to lead UN mediation in the regional dispute over the Sahara with pragmatism, unlike his predecessor Christopher Ross whose stands reflected connivance with Algeria and a willingness to change the parameters of negotiations.

After eight years as UNSG Personal Envoy, Ross left a legacy of failures on the Sahara issue. His term was marred by partial reports, a worn-out negotiation process devoid of prospects for progress and biased and unbalanced guidance to the UN.

Köhler is an economist by profession. Prior to his election as President, he had a distinguished career in politics and the civil service and as a banking executive. He was President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1998 to 2000 and head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2000 to 2004. From 2012 to 2013, he served on the UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

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