Indrika Ratwatte of Sri Lanka appointed deputy chief of UNAMA

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday announced the appointment of Indrika Ratwatte from Sri Lanka as the new deputy special representative for Afghanistan within the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Ratwatte will also assume the role of resident coordinator in Afghanistan and serve as the humanitarian coordinator, the UN said in a statement.

Ratwatte succeeds Ramiz Alakbarov of Azerbaijan, to whom the Secretary-General expressed gratitude for his dedicated service, according to a statement from the United Nations.

The Secretary-General also acknowledged the contributions of Daniel Endres, who served as ad-interim Deputy Special Representative, Resident, and Humanitarian Coordinator.

With over 30 years of experience in humanitarian affairs and protection in complex and crisis-prone environments, Ratwatte brings valuable expertise to his new role, including more than 14 years of experience working on Afghanistan and regional issues, as highlighted in the statement.

Ratwatte’s United Nations career commenced in 1992 with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In 1993, he continued his career with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Among his recent positions, Ratwatte has served as the Director of UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, where he previously held the role of Deputy Director. He has also worked as UNHCR’s Representative in Pakistan.

Ratwatte’s extensive international service with UNHCR includes roles as Deputy Representative in Tanzania and Pakistan, as well as prior assignments in Thailand, Croatia, China, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ratwatte holds 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 Sri Lanka Law College.