UN "strongly" defends UNICEF official ousted by Armenia

March 10, 2021 – 16:00 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The United Nation has “strongly” defended Marianne Clark‑Hattingh, the representative of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) in , one day after the government terminated her mandate in the country.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, was asked about the organization’s assessment of the situation, given that authorities in Armenia had cited Clark‑Hattingh’s “uncooperative work style” as a reason behind the decision.

Earlier, some media reported that the UNICEF official was allegedly engaged in espionage in favor of Azerbaijan and the UK, and the Armenian authorities declared her persona non grata.

“The allegations against… the spying allegations against her are baseless, and I would defend her strongly,” Dujarric told a daily briefing on Wednesday, March 10.

“What I can tell you and what my colleagues of UNICEF have told me is that UNICEF and the Government of Armenia have agreed that Marianne Clark‑Hattingh will complete her assignment as UNICEF Representative in Armenia this month, and she’ll be redeployed to another duty station.”

The United Nations spokesperson went on to say that the Clark‑Hattingh is “a highly qualified, extremely experienced and committed to development professional,” who has previously served with UNICEF at Headquarters, as well as being the Representative in Malaysia and other posts in places such as Somalia, Guinea, Benin and Madagascar.

“UNICEF has been working for the children in Armenia since 1993 and has had a close and effective partnership with the Government,” Dujarric added.

Clark-Hattingh assumed leadership of UNICEF Armenia in July 2020, following her time, serving as Representative, at UNICEF Malaysia office from 2016-2020. It was reported earlier that she had allegedly left the country, but Dujarric’s comments deny that.

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