By Prudence Arobani/New York
The UN Headquarters in New York on Monday mourned the death of the Russian Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin.
The Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Mr Farhan Haq, told UN Correspondents that Churkin died suddenly in New York on Monday, a day to his 65th birthday.
“The General Assembly today held a moment of silence honouring the memory of the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, who died suddenly this morning in New York.
“During a meeting of the Assembly on the reform of the world body, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative, Petr Iliichev, informed those present about Ambassador Churkin’s sudden passing.
“The seasoned diplomat, who would have turned 65 tomorrow, served as Permanent Representative since 2006,” Haq said.
Churkin, a career diplomat, had previously served as Russia’s ambassador to Canada and Belgium before taking up the post at the UN in 2006.
He was born in Moscow on 21 February 1952. He served as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2006 until his death in 2017. He was also a child actor.
He was fluent in Russian, Mongolian, French and English.
Previously he was Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2003-2006), Ambassador to Canada (1998-2003), Ambassador to Belgium and Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU (1994-1998), Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994), Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR/Russian Federation (1990-1992).