New York, 8 January 2022 (TDI): United Nations world today; a contemplative look at the daily press briefing from the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General in New York.

Starting with Senior Personnel Appointments

Deputy Special Representative Daniela Kroslak of Germany was appointed yesterday by Secretary-General to MINUSMA. The Secretary-General is grateful to Joanne Adamson, who recently finished her assignment and was an important member of the mission.

She has been serving as the Deputy Head of the UN Mission Supporting the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) in Yemen since January 2020. Her previous position was Chief of Staff of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

And with regard to MINUJUSTH Haiti, the Secretary-General has appointed Egypt’s Mourad Wahba to lead the mission to assess the mandate of the UN Mission in Haiti or BINUH. In its resolution 2600 (2021), the Security Council requested this action. A trip to Haiti is imminent, during which he will meet with interlocutors and report back to the team.

United Nations World Today’s 
Daniela Kroslak

Koroslak brought both UN HQ and field experience to her new position. Since 2018, she has served as the Chief of Staff for the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) and, from 2014 to 2018, she managed missions in Abyei and Darfur (UNISFA and UNAMID) and the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

Previously, she worked for the United Nations Mission in Sudan (2010–2011), the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2004–2006), and the United Nations Population Fund in Rwanda (2003–2004).

Kroslak used to work for the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (2001-2002) as Deputy Africa Director. Her publications include academic journals and international media.

She wrote a book about genocide in Rwanda called “The French Betrayal,” (Hurst 2007). She earned a Ph.D. in International Politics from Aberystwyth, UK, and a bachelor’s degree from Montpellier, France.

Mourad Wahba

Mourad Wahba is a United Nations Undersecretary-General and the Acting Associate Administrator of UNDP. Wahba was also the UNDP Regional Director for the Arab States.

Before joining the United Nations in 1993, Mourad Wahba was an Associate Professor of Economics at the American University of Cairo (AUC). He obtained his BA and MA from AUC and his doctorate degree from Oxford University.

For Afghanistan

One for Afghanistan and one for the wider region, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today announced that on Tuesday, January 11, at 11:30 a.m. Geneva time, two humanitarian appeals will be launched, one for Afghanistan and one for the wider region.

UN humanitarian staff and UNHCR estimate that more than half the Afghan population is in need of humanitarian assistance. Many Afghans have fled to neighboring countries over the years. UN Web TV will live stream the virtual event.

Saleema Rehman, the Asia Nansen Award winner who is a doctor from Afghanistan, will speak at the event, in addition to Martin Griffiths, the Head of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, and Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition, there will be an embargoed hybrid press conference on Monday, January 10, at 3:30 pm (Geneva time), in which Griffiths and Grandi will participate.

United Nations World Today’s Comments on this subject

There was a convergence of crises in Afghanistan even before the Taliban came to power in August. Crops were withering due to a severe drought; the COVID-19 pandemic had increased poverty, and over 3 million Afghans had been internally displaced as a result of the long-running conflict.

As a result, Afghanistan is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe, as described by UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons. An imploding economy is having an adverse effect on the entire community, but especially those who have been displaced by the conflict.

Saleema Rehman

Saleema Rehman is a 29-year-old Afghan refugee living and practicing medicine in Pakistan. She is the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award winner for Asia in 2021. As an Afghan refugee, she faced significant obstacles in her quest to become a medical doctor.

The traditional norms regarding girls’ education made it difficult for her to gain the support of her community. Although she was the only Afghan refugee to secure a seat at a medical college in Pakistan’s Punjab province in 2009, she beat the odds.

Her five-year undergraduate degree in medicine and surgery was completed in 2014, and she became the first Afghan refugee doctor of Turkmen descent to graduate.

“Education is very important in our lives because investing in the education of a woman is not just an investment in that particular woman; it’s an investment in the whole next generation.” Saleema Rehman

Martin Griffiths

Griffiths is experienced in humanitarian affairs at the national and United Nations levels, as well as in international conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation. He is now the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen (since 2018), which he will hold until the transition is announced.

Griffiths served as Deputy Head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) (2012-2014) and Advisor to three Special Envoys of the Secretary-General for Syria. In a range of countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe, he was the founder and director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

He has extensive experience in resource mobilization and donor relations and handling responses to natural disasters, from the British diplomatic service, the United Nations, international humanitarian organizations, and non-governmental organizations.

In Geneva, he headed the Department of Humanitarian Affairs (1992), which predated OCHA. His assignment in New York (1998-1999) was as the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes and Balkans.

He holds a master’s degree in Southeast Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He speaks English and French.


With regards to Ethiopia, Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has expressed his deep sorrow over the death on Wednesday of three Eritrean refugees, two of them children, who were killed in an airstrike that targeted the Mai Aini camp in northern Ethiopia.

World Food Programme (WFP) in the Philippines

According to the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Philippines, nutrition and food security are at risk in communities hit by Super Typhoon Odette three weeks ago. Odette impacted seven million people in a two-day period by landing nine times in an area the size of Austria.

The World Food Programme (WFP) requires an additional $25.8 million in order to provide food to 250,000 survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, as well as emergency logistics and telecommunications support for the broader typhoon response. The organization has so far received $4.7 million.

United Nations World Today’s Comments on WFP in the Philippines

More than 200 people are now believed to have been killed amid the aftermath of a powerful typhoon that struck the Philippines, officials said.

More than half of the deaths caused by Super Typhoon Odette have been reported in the island province of Bohol, in the central Visayas region, an area that is known for its diving spots and coral reefs. According to the Philippine National Police, some 230 people are also missing.

On the island of Mindanao, the province of Cebu and the city of Cagayan de Oro were also among the worst-hit areas. The typhoon made landfall on Thursday, December 16, 2021, with wind gusts of up to 168 miles per hour before moving west across the country.

After reaching land, Odette was classified as a super typhoon, which is comparable to a hurricane of the same category in the United States.