Mr Choi Young-jin
United Nations Special Representative for Côte d'Ivoire
Date of Birth: 29/03/1948
Place of Birth: Seoul
Alongside the United Nations Operations in Côte d'Ivoire
(UNOCI), South Korea's Choi Young-jin is working
to implement the peace process outlined in the Ouagadougou accord
of March 2007, signed by President Laurent Gbagbo and the
Forces Nouvelles rebel leader, Guillaume Soro.
Choi studied international relations at Yonsei University in Seoul,
then earned both his Master's and doctorate from the University
of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. Fluent in French and English, he
has served in the diplomatic corps in Senegal, France,
Tunisia and the United States. On home assignments,
he worked in international economic affairs and policy planning.
As Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at
the UN from 1998 to 1999, Choi directed, among others, the Sierra
Leone and Congo-Kinshasa missions. He became Vice-Minister
for Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2004 under South Korea's then-Foreign
Minister (and future UN boss), Ban Ki-moon.
Choi was South Korea's representative to the UN from 2005 to 2007
and succeeded Sweden's Pierre Schori as UN envoy
to Cote d'Ivoire in November 2007. His appointment was met with
grumbling about nepotism. (At around the same time, India's
Siddharth Chatterjee, a UNICEF program officer and Ban's
son-in-law, was made Chief of Staff to the UN's Iraq mission.)
In Côte d'Ivoire, Choi seems near to delivering what
two previous UN envoys have not. In August, he launched a '1000
microprojects' initiative to rehabilitate the 26,000 former Forces
nouvelles rebels who will not be integrated into the national
army. On 15 September, registration began for the nine million
voters across the country. The drive, though behind schedule,
cash-strapped and understaffed, is undeniably under way. Elections
are set for 30 November.
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CÔTE D'IVOIRE | WEST AFRICA
Ban Ki-moon’s envoy and fellow South Korean, Choi Young-jin, told Africa Confidential that all the angles of the electoral dispute had been covered lto the satisfaction of the AU’s PSC and the UN Security Council...
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UN Special Representative Choi Young-jin faces criticism from all sides...
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The head of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, Choi Young-jin, says the UN and EU have invested too much in the peace deal and subsequent elections – together with the deployment of 10,000 blue-helmeted peace keepers – to abandon it now...
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As required under the 2007 peace accord, ONUCI chief Choi Young-jin, validated the results, on 12 November...
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The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative, Choi Young-jin, visited the three main candidates and then told reporters, ‘Our assessment of the conduct of the campaign and vote is globally positive...
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Choi Young-jin, UN Special Representative and head of the Opération des Nations Unies en Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), says carefully that a definitive electoral register must be established, followed soon by elections...