UN peacekeeping chief tests positive for COVID-19

Half-length portrait of Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefing reporters on the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, May 24, 2019. (Photo by EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images)
UN undersecretary-general for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. (Photo by EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images)

The UN undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating in Lisbon, he announced Tuesday after a trip to Sudan and the Central African Republic.

“I wanted to let you know that I’ve tested positive for COVID-19. I’m asymptomatic and isolating in Lisbon, working remotely,” he tweeted.

Lacroix was in Lisbon for a conference on peace and security. A trip he had planned to the Democratic Republic of Congo has been postponed.

The Frenchman is responsible for roughly 100,000 peacekeepers deployed in some 15 peace operations around the world.

Since spring, several heads of UN agencies have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lacroix is the first senior official from UN headquarters to report being infected.

In New York, the UN works mainly remotely. Visits abroad by UN officials have recently resumed, with the introduction also of “virtual trips” such as the one recently organized in Colombia by the deputy secretary-general of the UN, Amina Mohammed, currently in West Africa.