• Kyodo

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Wednesday the appointment of Izumi Nakamitsu of Japan as the next undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs.

Nakamitsu, 53, will assume the new post soon, succeeding Kim Won-soo of South Korea. U.N. and other officials said she will be the first Japanese woman to become an undersecretary-general at the U.N. headquarters’ Secretariat.

“I am honored to be appointed to this role and will be dedicated to supporting the secretary general in his efforts to make the world a safer place,” Nakamitsu said in a statement.

A native of Tokyo, Nakamitsu joined the United Nations in 1989 and has been assistant secretary-general and assistant administrator at the U.N. Development Program’s Crisis Response Unit since November 2014.

Previously, she served as director of the Asia and Middle East division, as well as director of the division of policy, evaluation and training with the United Nations’ peacekeeping department.

Her extensive career at the international body has included posts in and out of New York, including serving under former Secretary-General Kofi Annan as part of his reform team and at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in the former Yugoslavia, Turkey and northern Iraq.

Nakamitsu was also a professor of international relations at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo between 2005 and 2008.

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