UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Designate Ban Ki-moon has announced his first appointments, naming Vijay Nambiar of India as chef de cabinet, effective Monday.
Ban also said Sunday his spokeswoman would be Michelle Montas of Haiti and her deputy would be Marie Okabe, presently No. 2 in the spokesman's office.
"Nambiar has held many important roles in and around the United Nations, including, among others, special adviser to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the permanent representative (ambassador) of India to the United Nations," said Ban in a statement. "Prior to coming to the United Nations, Nambiar served as deputy national security adviser in India.
"I have known Nambiar for a long time and we share deep confidence and respect for each other," said Ban.
Nambiar became an Annan adviser in March.
Montas, an-award-winning journalist from Haiti, is currently the head of the French unit of U.N. Radio. She served as the spokeswoman for the General Assembly president in 2003.
"I intend to make further appointments in the coming days," said the incoming secretary-general, who officially took U.N. reins at 12:01 a.m. EST Monday. "Today's appointments will serve as a solid basis for establishing my team and pursuing a program of reform of the (U.N.) Secretariat to provide continuity along with change."
Ban and his transition team have been playing their cards very close to the chest so there have been few hints as to who would stay on from the Annan administration, although it was widely expected he would be making a fairly clean sweep of his 38th floor offices in the Secretariat.
The chance of a woman becoming deputy secretary-general, as he previously hinted as a possibility, lessened slightly with the high profile appointment of Montas and reappointment of Okabe.
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