Secretary-General Appoints Nahla Valji of Canada United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eritrea

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Nahla Valji of Canada as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, with the host Government’s approval.  She took up her post on 21 January and will also serve as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.

Ms. Valji has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable development, peace and security, gender, and human rights in the United Nations and civil society, with expertise in leading institutional reform processes and start-up initiatives, including two UN funds and a Security Council mechanism on women, peace and security.

Prior to this appointment, she served as the Global Coordinator of the Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls, a €500 million flagship programme for the Sustainable Development Goals, and as a Senior Adviser in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General.

Before that, Ms. Valji was the Acting Chief/Deputy of the Peace and Security Section of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) where she led the entity’s work on peacekeeping, peace negotiations and the rule of law, and focused on country programming support and policy analysis and development.  In 2015, she headed the Secretariat for the Global Study on the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), a comprehensive review requested by the Security Council on women, peace and security.

Before the UN, Ms. Valji worked in South Africa on issues of development, human rights, and peacebuilding.  During this time, she led the Africa-wide work on transitional justice of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.  This involved managing partnerships with civil society, academia, experts, Governments and the African Union.  She founded and was the managing editor of the International Journal of Transitional Justice and is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on Gender and Conflict.

Ms. Valji has a masters degree in political science and international relations and a joint diploma in forced migration studies from York University in Canada.

For information media. Not an official record.