Norwegian diplomat named deputy head of UN relief agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today appointed the Norwegian diplomat Leni Stenseth to serve as Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

‘UNRWA plays a key role in safeguarding the fundamental rights and humanitarian needs of the Palestine refugees while contributing to regional stability. Norway has a long history as a partner and supporter of the organisation. I wish Leni Stenseth good luck in her new position,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

UNRWA’s mandate from the UN General Assembly is to assist and safeguard the rights of about 5.6 million Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Ms Stenseth is currently Norway’s ambassador to Lebanon. The post of Deputy Commissioner-General is ranked as an Assistant Secretary General (ASG) in the UN system; in her new role Ms Stenseth will be UNRWA’s deputy head.

Ms Stenseth has extensive working experience from the field of humanitarian affairs and Middle East related issues Prior to her appointment as Norway’s Ambassador to Lebanon, she directed the Section for Humanitarian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also held a number of senior positions in the Norwegian Red Cross.