Graduation Ceremony of
Master of Advanced Studies in European and International Governance (MEIG)
22 octobre 2018 - 6:30 pm
Uni Mail Room MR070
Prof. Bénédict Foëx, Dean of the Faculty of Law
Prof. Christine Kaddous, Co-Director of the MEIG Programme
Mr. David Chikvaidze
Chef de Cabinet of the Director-General
of the United Nations Office at Geneva
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE UNITED NATIONS IN AN AGE OF UNCERTAINTIES
DAVID A. CHIKVAIDZE
D. Chikvaidze has worked for over thirty-three years in the foreign, government and international civil services. Currently serving as Chef de Cabinet to his third Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), he occupied this position before, from 2006 to 2011. In 2011-2013, he was Director of the UN Library at Geneva and Chairman of the UNOG Cultural Activities Committee. Prior to his first stint as Chef de Cabinet, he served the Director-General of UNOG for over nine months in 2006 as acting Senior Political Adviser. In 2003-2005, D. Chikvaidze was Senior Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief of the Communications and NGO Partnerships Section in Geneva, as well as spokesman for the 61st session of the Commission on Human Rights, and Human Rights Treaty Bodies.
In New York, in 1993-2003, D. Chikvaidze performed various sensitive tasks, both at UN Headquarters and in the field: negotiating humanitarian appeals and aid monitoring in 1996-97 in Pyongyang with the DPRK government following heavy flooding there; in 1999, assisting Sergio Vieira de Mello in negotiating with the Yugoslav authorities humanitarian needs of the population, and access to internally displaced persons in the FRY, including Kosovo; assisting the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara James A. Baker III on his confidential missions to Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania; disaster assessment and coordination in Tajikistan and Afghanistan after earthquakes in 1998; preparation of a 1998 confidential Contingency Plan of the UN system for emergency humanitarian assistance to Iraq in the event of military action; three visits to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and to contaminated areas of Belarus and Ukraine in efforts to assist victims of this disaster; organizing the UN 50 commemorative events in New York and San Francisco; etc.
D. Chikvaidze has performed tasks additional to his line duties, including: substantive support to three Directors-General in their function as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Conference; substantive support to the Director-General in his capacity as Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe; press officer for James A. Baker III; spokesman and speechwriter on missions with UN Under-Secretaries-General Eliasson, Hansen, Akashi and Vieira de Mello; press officer for the Ashgabad International Forum on Afghanistan; for the Vienna International Donor Meeting on Tajikistan, and others. He has had many appearances before live audiences, on US network TV, UN Radio and speaking engagements on behalf of the UN and has occasionally taught courses on geopolitics and served as thesis advisor.
Prior to joining the United Nations, D. Chikvaidze served as deputy Chief of Office and scheduler for President Gorbachev and as presidential protocol officer for President Yeltsin. A diplomat by training, he spent five years in Washington, D.C. (1985-1990), where, as special assistant to the Soviet Ambassador and Chief of Protocol of the Embassy, he worked with the White House, the Department of State, other Executive Departments, on US-Soviet Summits and Ministerial meetings.
D. Chikvaidze holds a Ph.D. (1984) in political science. He is vice president of the Swiss Forum for International Affairs (first non-Swiss); vice president of the Geneva Diplomatic Club; Associate Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, member of Rotary International and founding member of the Georgian Association of Switzerland and of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. He was Adviser to the Georgian Association of the USA (until 2003).
Born in Tbilisi, D. Chikvaidze is a citizen of Georgia. He is married and has one son and three grandsons.