• Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021
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Johannes van der Klaauw takes office as UNHCR’s new representative in Bangladesh

  • Published at 06:09 pm March 8th, 2021
Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR representative in Bangladesh
Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR representative in Bangladesh along with Foreign Affairs Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday, March 8, 2021. Courtesy

He is UNHCR’s 11th representative in Bangladesh

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has announced that Johannes van der Klaauw has assumed his functions as the agency’s representative in Bangladesh on Monday, after presenting his credentials to Foreign Affairs Minister AK Abdul Momen.

He becomes UNHCR’s 11th representative in Bangladesh, in a partnership with the country that dates back to 1971, reads a press release. 

As the representative of the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, he will be the highest UNHCR interlocutor and partner for the Government, the humanitarian community, the civil society and the refugee community.

Upon taking up his new role, Johannes van der Klaauw said: “It is a great honor to be UNHCR’s new representative in a country that has shown a remarkable generous humanitarian spirit and has offered safety and refuge to the Rohingyas for more than four decades. I look forward to building upon UNHCR’s strong relations with the Bangladeshi authorities and people developed over the last fifty years and supporting the Government’s leadership to ensure an effective humanitarian response that meets the needs of Rohingya refugees and affected Bangladeshi communities. 

“Our joint efforts are aimed at sustainable solutions through the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar once conditions allow.”

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Johannes van der Klaauw, a national of the Netherlands, brings more than 25 years of experience with UNHCR in diverse assignments around the world. Most recently, he was the deputy humanitarian coordinator in the Republic of Mali, where he led efforts to support principled and effective humanitarian aid across the country, for the displaced and vulnerable local populations. 

He also served as humanitarian coordinator in Yemen. He began his career in UNHCR at its Brussels office in 1995 and later served in senior positions in Iran, Morocco, Yemen, Canada, and the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) as well as its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

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