United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as his Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia. He will succeed Michael Keating of the United Kingdom effective 1 October 2018, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his exemplary service and leadership of UNSOM.
Mr. Haysom is a lawyer with a long international career with a focus on democratic governance, constitutional and electoral reforms, reconciliation and peace processes. He is currently the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, a position he has held since 2016. Prior to this, he served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2014 to 2016, and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan from 2012 to 2014. He was also Director for Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General from 2007 to 2012, and Head of the Office of Constitutional Support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq from 2005 to 2007.
In his earlier career, Mr. Haysom served in the Government of South Africa, including as Chief Legal and Constitutional Adviser in the Office of the President from 1994 to 1999. He was involved in the Burundi Peace Talks as Chair of the committee negotiating constitutional issues from 1999 to 2002 under the facilitation of the late former President Nelson Mandela. He was the principal adviser to the Mediator in the Sudanese Peace Process from 2002 to 2005.
Mr. Haysom earned a degree in law from the Universities of Natal and Cape Town in South Africa. In 2012, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cape Town.
Born in 1952, he is married and has five children.