Sigrid Kaag appointed to oversee U.N., OPCW operations in Syria

Sigrid Kaag was named the special coordinator of efforts by the U.N. and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy chemical weapons in Syria on Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Kaag's appointment and underscored that humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in Syria would be an emphasis moving forward.

The U.N. Security Council had confirmed Kaag's appointment before the secretary-general's announcement on Wednesday.

"We have no illusions over the challenges ahead," Ban said. "The situation in Syria remains dangerous and unpredictable. The cooperation of all parties in Syria is required."

Kaag will oversee all humanitarian, security, communications, medical, administrative and policy support efforts in Syria. She will be tasked with ensuring that secure access is granted to chemical weapon sites throughout the country.

"While mobilizing to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, the U.N. has not lost sight for one moment of the wider tragedy that is still destroying Syria," Ban said. "We are equally focused on reaching a political solution that will stop the appalling violence and suffering being inflicted on the Syrian people."

Kaag previously served as the assistant administrator of the U.N. Development Program. She has also worked for other organizations around the world. Throughout her career, Kaag's focus has been on countries in the Middle East and North Africa.