Home>News Center>World

Chief UN spokesman to step down in June
Updated: 2005-02-20 14:13

The chief spokesman at the United Nations will step down in June as part of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's revamp of senior staff.

Fred Eckhard, an American, had submitted his resignation earlier this year but said he would have been willing to serve until Annan's second five-year terms ends on Dec. 31, 2006.

Annan, who appointed Eckhard to the post when he took office in 1997, accepted the resignation and set the June date, Eckhard told reporters.

Annan recently appointed Mark Malloch Brown, the high-profile head of the UN Development Program, to be his new chief of staff.

Malloch Brown has begun house cleaning among top officials but most dismissals or resignations so far have involved staff considered hard-working and competent.

Eckhard, highly respected by the UN press corps, is 61 and the usual retirement age at the United Nations is 60.

He said he was not asked to offer his resignation but thought he should leave Malloch Brown free to choose his own team.

"Mark is new," Eckhard told Reuters on Friday. "The last two years have been particularly rough and I wanted to give him the option to make a change."

The United Nations is seeking to improve its image after revelations of mismanagement in the scandal-tainted oil-for-food program.

Sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Congo has also tarnished the world body's credibility. More recently, charges that Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, sexually harrassed women on his staff have left his future in doubt.

Eckhard has been an associate spokesman for secretaries-general over the past decade. He also served as a spokesman for peacekeeping when Annan headed that department shortly before he became secretary-general.

  Today's Top News     Top World News

Beijing opposes US-Japan statement on Taiwan



Eight suicide bombings in Baghdad kill 55



Building harmonious society CPC's top task



Experts cry for checking before marriage



Industrial growth rate drops slightly



Bush harbors no bitterness toward Chirac


  Chief UN spokesman to step down in June
  Bush harbors no bitterness toward Chirac
  UN still at odds on cloning
  Gunmen take Haiti ex-Prime Minister from prison
  Italians march to demand release of the kidnapped
  Eight suicide bombings in Baghdad kill 55
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Annan seeks overhaul of security measures
EU seeks unity with U.S. on Iran atom program
Oil-for-food chief said to block audit
Iraq wants money back; Annan promises action
Annan vows action against UN staff in Iraq program
U.N. commemorates death camp liberation
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?