On 19 December 2008 the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Ján Kubiš of Slovakia as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
Mr. Kubiš has outstanding qualifications and numerous accomplishments in his own country and internationally, in the area of diplomacy, foreign security policy, as well as international economic relations. Mr. Kubiš served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia from 2006 to January 2009, as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, from 2007 to 2008, and as Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), from 1999 to 2005.
Among his previous functions, Mr. Kubiš was the European Union's Special Representative for Central Asia with the office in Brussels from 2005 to 2006. In 2000, he was the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office of OSCE for Central Asia, and from 1994 to 1998, Director of OSCE’s Conflict Prevention Centre. From 1998 to 1999, he was Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Tajikistan and Head of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan.
A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Mr. Kubiš worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the former Czechoslovakia from 1976 to 1992 and thereafter in 1993 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. In 1993-1994 he served as Permanent Representative of Slovakia in Geneva to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations, including the Economic Commission for Europe.
Mr. Kubiš, who is married and has one daughter, was born in Bratislava in 1952.