United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Leila Zerrougui of Algeria as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Ms. Zerrougui succeeds Maman Sidikou of Niger, who completes his assignment in January 2018 and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his leadership and dedicated service during his tenure.
Ms. Zerrougui brings more than 30 years of experience in rule of law and protection of civilians, as well as a demonstrated record of management and leadership. She served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict (2012 - 2016) and as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in MONUSCO (2008 - 2012), where she spearheaded the Mission's efforts in strengthening the rule of law and protection of civilians.
A legal expert in human rights and the administration of justice, Ms. Zerrougui has had a distinguished career in strengthening the rule of law and championing strategies and actions for the protection of vulnerable groups, especially women and children. She was a member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention under the United Nations Human Rights Council from 2001 to 2003, and served as the Working Group's Chairperson-Rapporteur from 2003 to 2008. She previously served as an expert member of a number of working groups and committees under the then United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Prior to her international engagements, Ms. Zerrougui had a longstanding career in Algeria, where in 2000 she was appointed to the Supreme Court.
Born in 1956, Ms. Zerrougui graduated from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (Algiers) in 1980. Since 1993, she has held various academic positions at law schools in Algeria, and was associate professor of the Ecole Supérieure de la Magistrature (Algiers).