The Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations system in Zambia has welcomed Ms. Kanni Wignaraja as the new UN Resident Coordinator accredited to Zambia.
Ms Wignaraja, a national of Sri Lanka, was appointed as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Zambia on 16 August 2010 succeeding Mr Macleod Nyirongo who retired from the UN system in August 2010.
Ms Wignaraja presented a copy of her credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Honourable Kabinga J. Pande at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 08 September 2010. The Minister congratulated Ms Wignaraja on her appointment as UN Resident Coordinator to Zambia. He underlined that his Government strongly supports the UN reform agenda and reiterated that his Government would like to see the implementation of the reform agenda in Zambia with greater pace and impact. He assured Ms Wignaraja that the Government was open for dialogue with the UN on issues of common concern.
In response Ms Kanni Wignaraja said “it is an honor to have been called on to serve in this country, and I look forward to further promote the cordial relations that exist between the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations which date back to 1965.” She said that the UN system would focus in providing the best advice in development and other related issues through continuous dialogue and constructive engagement. “The UN will bring to bear the best of its global knowledge, skills and experiences, through both resident and nonresident agencies, to enhance the national capacities necessary for the achievement of Zambia’s aspiration to become a prosperous middle income country by 2030, and towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015”, added Ms Wignaraja.
The presentation ceremony is followed by the formal presentation of the Letter of Accreditation from the UN Secretary General to His Excellency, President Rupiah Bwenzani Banda.
Prior to this appointment, Ms Wignaraja was Director of the Capacity Development Group in the Bureau for Development Policy, New York where she was also Co-chair of the UN Working Group on Capacity Development.
Ms. Wignaraja served in Viet Nam as Deputy Resident Representative and a short stint in Indonesia, prior to that as Chief of the Regional Programme Division in the Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific, New York. Ms. Wignaraja joined the United Nations, as the Policy Officer in Geneva. Ms Wignaraja is married with two children.