UNICEF Armenia Representative’s Tenure Ends Abruptly

Marianne Clark-Hattingh

By Varak Ghazarian

Armenia has ended the tenure of Marianne Clark-Hattingh, the UNICEF representative in Armenia, according to the spokeswoman of the Armenian Foreign Ministry Anna Naghdalyan.

“The shortcomings of the UNICEF Representative in Armenia Marianne Clark-Hattingh in the implementation of her mandate and her non-cooperative style of work were problematic for the Armenian side. The UN Resident Coordinator and UNICEF representatives were informed about the above-mentioned decision,” Naghdalyan stated. 

Clark-Hattingh left Armenia “in a hurry,” due to “the head of the UNICEF Armenia office not presenting herself correctly,” according to Sputnik Armenia.

Zara Sargsyan, Head Communication at UNICEF Armenia, denied reports that Clark-Hattingh left Armenia “in a hurry.” According to Sargsyan, UNICEF has already named a new representative in Armenia and is now awaiting approval from the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

According to various telegram channels, Armenian authorities declared the Head of the UNICEF Armenia office a “persona non grata” because she spied for Azerbaijan and Great Britain.

The General Prosecutor’s Office of Armenia stated they do not have any information about Clark-Hattingh’s alleged espionage for Azerbaijan while she was in office. However, the General Prosecutor’s Office stated that they will look into the allegations.

The UNICEF headquarters in New York has yet to issue a statement regarding the recent development, but the decision to remove Clark-Hattingh was agreed upon by the executives of UNICEF.

Clark-Hattingh took over UNICEF office in Armenia in July 2020. She was UNICEF’s representative in Malaysia from 2016-2020. Before coming to Armenia, she worked for UNICEF in Malaysia, Somalia, Ghana, Madagascar, and several other countries.