Indrika Ratwatte Appointed as UN Deputy Special Representative
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced the appointment of Indrika Ratwatte of Sri Lanka as the new Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, who will also take on the role of Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan. In addition, Mr. Ratwatte will serve as the Humanitarian Coordinator, as stated in a UN media release.
Mr. Ratwatte takes over this position from Ramiz Alakbarov of Azerbaijan, and the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude for Mr. Alakbarov’s dedicated service. The Secretary-General also acknowledged the interim service of Daniel Endres as Deputy Special Representative, Resident, and Humanitarian Coordinator.
With over 30 years of experience in humanitarian affairs and protection in complex and crisis settings, including more than 14 years dedicated to work in Afghanistan and regional matters, Mr. Ratwatte brings a wealth of expertise to his new role.
His journey with the United Nations commenced in 1992 with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and he continued his career in 1993 with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Among his notable roles, Mr. Ratwatte has served as the Director of the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, where he also held the position of Deputy. He has also served as the UNHCR Representative in Pakistan and as Deputy Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania and Pakistan, with previous assignments in various countries, including Thailand, Croatia, China, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mr. Ratwatte’s educational background includes a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University in the United States and a bachelor’s degree in English and sociology from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. He is also an attorney-at-law, having graduated from the Sri Lanka Law College. His extensive experience and educational qualifications make him well-suited for his new role in Afghanistan.