Tarek Mitri. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

12 September 2012 ? Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Tarek Mitri of Lebanon as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), according to the UN chief?s spokesperson.

Mr. Mitri will succeed Ian Martin who will complete his assignment on 14 October this year.

?The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Martin for his dedicated service during his tenure in UNSMIL over the past year,? Mr. Ban?s spokesperson said in a statement.

Mr. Mitri hails from an academic background and has held several ministerial portfolios with the Government of Lebanon between 2005 and 2011.

Most recently, Mr. Mitri held the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair on Dialogue at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, and served as a Senior Fellow at the American University of Beirut, Fares Center for Public Policy and International Affairs. Prior to joining the Lebanese Government, Mr. Mitri also spent time working with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and the Middle East Council of Churches.

In July, some 2.7 million Libyans headed to the polls to vote for members of the North African country?s new National Congress. Over 3,000 candidates ran for office, including more than 600 women. The election was conducted in a largely peaceful manner, receiving praise from international observers and the Security Council.

The polls were the first free elections in decades in Libya, where Muammar al-Qadhafi ruled for more than 40 years until a pro-democracy uprising last year ? similar to the protests in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa ? led to civil war and the end of his regime.

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