Sir Mark Lowcock announced as new UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs - ODI statement

12 May 2017

The Overseas Development Institute congratulates Sir Mark Lowcock on his appointment as the new United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Christina Bennett, Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group, said:

‘This appointment comes at a critical time where nearly 100 million people worldwide are in need of humanitarian assistance. From famine threatening four countries in East Africa to protracted crises in Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan, Mr. Lowcock will play a vital role in providing the leadership, vision and coordination needed to respond effectively and find solutions to these crises.

‘Mr. Lowcock steps into the role at a time when humanitarian principles are routinely flouted in conflict, with schools and hospitals now routinely bombed and humanitarian workers killed with impunity. He must ensure that all parties to armed conflicts uphold their obligations to international humanitarian law. Importantly, he needs to be a tireless advocate of civilians caught up in crises so that they receive the assistance and protection they deserve.  

‘As the United Nations continues to look for ways to remain relevant and legitimate, Mr. Lowcock has a unique opportunity to reinvigorate and refocus the UN’s role in humanitarian assistance and protection.  He is a strong choice as the world seeks leadership and conviction to resolve humanitarian crises.’

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact James Rush on j.rush@odi.org.uk or +44 (0)7808 791265