Eric Solheim nominated for top UN post

Eric Solheim nominated for top UN post

One-time peace envoy for Sri Lanka and Norwegian politician Eric Solheim has been nominated for a top UN post by UN Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon.

The UNSG has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Solheim as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme. He had made the recommendation after consulting the Chairpersons of the regional groups of Member States, the UN News Centre reported.

Solheim is currently the Chair of the UN’s Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a post he has held since 2013.

He was Norway’s Minister for Environment and International Development between 2007 and 2012. He also served as Minister for International Development from 2005 to 2007.

The Norwegian politician was once criticised of being an LTTE sympathiser during the early 2000s when Norway tried to broker a peace deal between the Government and the LTTE. However, a report carried in the LTTE-backed news website Tamilnet criticised the move to appoint him to the top UN post saying, “These are acts not very different from genocidal Colombo appointing former military men to diplomatic positions.”