NEW YORK — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week announced the appointment of Movses Abelian, born in Armenia and a national of Georgia, as Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management. He will succeed Catherine Pollard of Guyana, whom the Secretary-General has appointed as the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management.
Abelian brings with him more than 25 years of experience in peace and security issues and conflict resolution as well as extensive expertise leading, supporting and managing complex portfolios and intergovernmental processes, including the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Executive Boards of United Nations Funds and Programmes.
As Director of the Security Council Affairs Division since April 2011, Abelian served as the Secretary of the Security Council and provided substantive advice to the President and members of the Council and its subsidiary bodies on matters related to the Council’s work, practices and procedures. Abelian also has several years’ experience in management, including program planning and budget, having previously worked as Secretary of the Administrative and Budgetary Committee of the General Assembly (Fifth Committee) and the Committee on Programme and Coordination at the United Nations.
Prior to joining the UN, Abelian was the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations (1998-2003) and deputy permanent representative from 1996 to 1998. During his diplomatic career, Abelian served in various capacities including as the chairman of the Fifth Committee (1998); Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Commission and Special Negotiator for the United Nations Peacekeeping Scale Financing Reform (2000); President of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Facilitator for United Nations Reform during the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly (2002).
Prior to joining Armenia’s Foreign Service in 1992, Abelian worked in academia as associate professor at Yerevan State University from 1989.
He was educated in Armenia, the Russian Federation and the United States. He is married and has two children.