UN chief appoints special coordinator to assess Afghanistan situation

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Tuesday the appointment of Feridun Sinirlioğlu of Turkey as the Special Coordinator for Afghanistan as recommended by the Security Council earlier this year.

The Secretary-General has asked Sinirlioğlu to lead the independent assessment with a view to providing recommendations for an integrated and coherent approach to addressing the current challenges faced by Afghanistan.

Sinirlioğlu brings over four decades of experience in international affairs and diplomacy. Throughout his career, he has held portfolios spanning political, humanitarian, development and human rights issues, has led mediation efforts and has expertise in extensive geographical areas such as the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, including Afghanistan.

He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey in the interim government of 2015 and served as the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey (2015-2016 and 2009-2015). Most recently, he was the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations (2016 to 2023).

Sinirlioğlu holds a PhD from the School of Political Science and International Relations of the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and received his Bachelor of Arts from the Political Science Faculty of Ankara University.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Sinirlioğlu’s appointment saying Turkey places importance on the engagement of the international community to solve the issues in Afghanistan.

“Türkiye, which has historical and cultural ties with Afghanistan, will continue to support the work on Afghanistan within the scope of the UN, and there is no doubt that special coordinator Ambassador Sinirlioglu will make a significant contribution to these efforts,” the ministry said in a statement.