Mr Choi  Young-jin
South Korea

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.

Displaying 1-7 out of 7 results.

Vol 52 N0 8


A resolution in Abidjan

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...

Vol 52 N0 6


Guns, votes and cocoa

UN Special Representative Choi Young-jin faces criticism from all sides...

Vol 51 N0 25


Two presidents, one crisis

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...

Vol 51 N0 23


Holding their breath

As required under the 2007 peace accord, ONUCI chief Choi Young-jin, validated the results, on 12 November...

Vol 51 N0 22


And then, there were two

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...

Vol 51 N0 17


A dubious election date, again

Vol 51 N0 5


Another temporary fix

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...

Displaying 1-7 out of 7 results.