Rabat – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of former Canadian politician Colin Stewart as his Special Representative for Western Sahara and Head of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
Stewart succeeds fellow Canadian Kim Bolduc, who completed her assignment on November 22, 2017. “The Secretary-General is grateful to Ms. Bolduc for her strong leadership and perseverance over the course of her tenure,” reads an official release from the organization.
The 56-year-old Stewart has held several positions in the UN. He was Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office at the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa from 2011 to 2016. The diplomat also has experience as an independent consultant in the field of elections and. democratic development.
A former spokesperson for the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Stewart has held appointments in a number of United Nations field missions, including as Acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Affairs at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (2007-2009).
From 1999 to 2004, he served successively with the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), and the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).
He also represented the Carter Center in the occupied West Bank and Gaza (Palestinian territories occupied by Israel) and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Bolduc was appointed as MINURSO head in May 2014, previously leading UN missions in Panama and Haiti. Before that, the Canadian diplomat held various positions within the UN, including in Honduras from 2004 to 2006, Iraq in 2003, Peru from 1997 to 2002, and in Ecuador from 1992 to 1997.
Bolduc was born in Vietnam in 1952. She received degrees in international cooperation and development from the University of Ottawa and conflict resolution and humanitarian action from the University of Geneva.