Secretary-General Appoints Robert Andrew Piper of Australia Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Robert Andrew Piper of Australia as his Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement.

The appointment of a Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement is a key component of the Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement.  The Action Agenda, developed in response to the September 2021 report of the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, will help mobilize collective action and advance solutions for the millions of people who today find themselves displaced within their own countries, with a focus on root causes anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Special Adviser will ensure robust follow-up to the Action Agenda and strengthen United Nations leadership on solutions, through galvanizing high-level engagement at global, regional and country levels on durable solutions to internal displacement; strengthening linkages with development actors, including international financial institutions; and driving collaboration within the United Nations system to more effectively advance durable solutions.  The Special Adviser will ensure a strong emphasis on sustainable development, especially through the enhanced United Nations resident coordinator system and United Nations country teams across the globe.

Mr. Piper brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in international development, humanitarian response and peacebuilding at the United Nations.  He is currently Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Development Coordination Office.  This position has given him a unique understanding of the development system — including assets across all entities — and provided robust experience in strengthening linkages among different pillars of the United Nations.  While in the United Nations Development Coordination Office, he has also helped implement the most ambitious reforms in the history of United Nations development coordination.

Mr. Piper joined the United Nations in 1990, first working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Thailand.  He has since then served as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 2015 to 2018; as Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel region from 2013 to 2015; as Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative for Nepal from 2008 to 2013; and as Development Coordinator in Kosovo between 2002 and 2004.

In 2018 the Secretary-General appointed Mr. Piper as Head of the Development System Transition Team, which was established to provide strategic leadership and oversight to all aspects of the repositioning of the United Nations development system reforms.  He has held a number of other key positions with UNDP at Headquarters and in the field.  In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Mr. Piper served as Chief of Staff to former United States President Bill Clinton in his capacity as the United Nations Special Envoy for the Tsunami Recovery.

Mr. Piper has an honours degree in political science from the Australian National University and a certificate in French language and literature from the Sorbonne University.  He was a World Fellow at Yale University in 2004.


* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1847-BIO/5168-DEV/3385 of 31 December 2018.

For information media. Not an official record.