UN to pick Polish ambassador as next envoy to Lebanon, reports say

Antonio Guterres informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Joanna Wronecka

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres attends at a press conference in Berlin after a meeting with the German foreign minister. AFP
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres attends at a press conference in Berlin after a meeting with the German foreign minister. AFP

Poland’s Ambassador to the United Nations has reportedly been selected to be the organisation’s new envoy to Lebanon.

Diplomatic sources told AFP that UN Security General Antonio Guterres informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Joanna Wronecka as the organisation’s special co-ordinator for Lebanon. The source told the newswire there were no objections to her appointment.

She will replace Jan Kubis, the Slovak diplomat who was announced as the UN’s new envoy to Libya in January.

Ms Wronecka, 63, is an Arabist, having studied the language at University in Poland. She has spent decades working across the Middle East and North Africa.

Since 2017 she has been Poland’s permanent representative to the UN, where she has focused on reforming the UN Security Council.

She will be the seventh UN Special Co-ordinator for Lebanon.

Her appointment will be formally announced soon.

Ms Wronecka will arrive at a time when Lebanon faces the worst economic crisis in its history. Despite international partners urging Lebanon’s leaders to reform the economy, pass transparency legislation and form a new government to tackle the financial meltdown, little progress has been made as politicians bicker over the makeup of the next administration.

Lebanon’s currency has lost more than 80 per cent of its value in the past year, more than half the population are now under the poverty line and unemployment is rising rapidly.

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Updated: March 30, 2021 10:15 AM

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