At the beginning of each regular session, the Council elects, from among the representatives, a Chairperson and the following officers: a First Vice-Chairperson, a Second Vice-Chairperson and a Rapporteur. The officers are elected for a one-year term and hold office until their successors are elected. They are eligible for re-election.
Chairperson: Her Excellency Mrs. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
Ambassador Devandas Aguilar is a lawyer with over 20 years of international work experience, particularly with the United Nations system. Her work in the multilateral context, in particular at the UN headquarters in New York and Geneva, begins with her participation in the negotiation process of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 2003 to 2006. She worked for the World Bank advising Latin American States on social inclusion and she was a human rights officer for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which allowed her to know internally the functioning of intergovernmental entities and their political context.
In 2014 she was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, from where she made the first official visit of a human rights expert to the Democratic Republic of North Korea. Likewise, she promoted and accompanied the joint work of United Nations entities in various processes; for example, at the World Humanitarian Summit and at the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators of the UN Statistical Commission.
First Vice-Chairperson: His Excellency Dr. Lansana Gberie, Ambassador to Switzerland and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international Organisations, including the World Trade Centre in Geneva.
Dr. Gberie served as the President of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) from August 2020 to August 2021.
Prior to his appointment in Geneva by His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio in 2018, Dr. Gberie worked for the United Nations for many years, including as Coordinator and Finance Expert of the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts on Liberia following his appointment by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Gberie acted in numerous positions including as a Senior Researcher and Political Analyst for security and peacekeeping matters in New York, Addis Ababa and Ghana, Head of the Liberia Country Office and West Africa Programme, and Senior Researcher for the International Diamond Trade and Human Security Project of Partnership Africa Canada in Ottawa, among others. For their work to end the trade in conflict diamonds that led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, Dr. Gberie and two of his colleagues were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by American Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressmen Tony P. Hall and Frank R. Wolf in 2002.
An academic and writer, Dr. Gberie holds a PhD in history from Amsterdam and a MA from the Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, in international relations and military history. He has published extensively and was awarded the Outstanding Research Award by the Canadian government in 2002.
Second Vice-Chairperson: Her Excellency Ms. Katharina Stasch, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
Ambassador Stasch brings to the position over fifteen years of experience in international and national politics. Prior to becoming Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, she has served as Chief of Staff and Head of the Minister’s Office of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Office in the Federal Foreign Ministry as well as the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. Important projects of this time include the shaping of the Alliance of Multilateralism, Germany‘s Membership in the UN Security Council, the Law on Equal Rights of Women (quotas) and combating hate speech. Ms Stasch holds a Ph.D. (Thesis- Lender of Last Resort: Banking Crises and Crisis Resolution in the EU), University of Hamburg, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Rapporteur: His Excellency Mr. Taeho Lee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.
Prior to his appointment in Geneva, Mr. Taeho Lee was Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea from September 2018 to December 2020. He served as Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subsequently as Secretary to the President for Trade. He served as Director-General for Multilateral Trade with the responsibility of conducting inter-agency coordination relating to the WTO and APEC and as Director-General for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Policy.