Press Release


18 October 2006

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour announced today the appointment of Lena Sundh as head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) and her Representative in the country. Ms Sundh, a Swedish national, will take up her position in the coming weeks, for a period of six months.

The High Commissioner said her Office was fortunate to benefit from Ms Sundh’s considerable international and human rights experience during this most important period in Nepal’s transition to peace. “The Seven Party Alliance Government and the CPN-Maoist have made it clear that they seek the support of my Office in the protection and promotion of human rights during the peace process. I am confident that with Ms Sundh’s leadership OHCHR will continue its role in strongly defending human rights in Nepal through this sensitive and critical period,” she said.

Ms Sundh has specialised in conflict management and peacekeeping in her 30 year international career. She joined the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1976 and has served in Thailand, Namibia, Morocco, and at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. She was Ambassador of Sweden to Angola from 1995 to 2000. She has also served as Director at the Departments of African Affairs and of Global Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sweden.

Within the United Nations, Ms Sundh has served in Cambodia with the UNHCR and was a member of the UN Monitoring Mechanism on Angola Sanctions. Most recently Ms Sundh was appointed as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in this position was the Deputy Head of the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUC.

Ms Sundh has represented Sweden in numerous United Nations conferences and meetings since 1983, including in the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Commission on Human Rights, the Commission on the Status of Women and Human Settlement as well as in the Fourth World Conference on Women. She was chief negotiator and head of the Swedish negotiation team to the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which took place during the Swedish Presidency of the EU.

Prior to taking up her assignment with OHCHR in Nepal, Ms Sundh was Ambassador and Head of the Project on Conflict Solutions in Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues relating to conflict prevention, conflict management and peacekeeping.
For further information contact Mr. Kieran Dwyer at OHCHR-Nepal:
Tel.: 428 0164 (Ext. 321) - Mobile: 98510 14263 or Email: kdwyer@ohchr.org