Press Release

Secretary-General appoints Mr. Abdullah Abdul Samad Dashti of Kuwait as United Nations Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative

28 December 2022

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Abdullah Abdul Samad Dashti of Kuwait as United Nations Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Initiative was launched by Ukraine, Türkiye, the Russian Federation and the United Nations on 22 July 2022 to enable the resumption of exports from Ukraine of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor.  

Mr. Dashti succeeds Amir Mahmoud Abdulla of Sudan who served as United Nations Coordinator since August 2022. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Abdulla’s leadership, hard work and commitment in implementing the Initiative, including in challenging times.           

Mr. Dashti retired in 2021 from the Kuwaiti armed forces at the rank of Vice Admiral, and he brings 40 years of experience in the areas of naval operations, leadership, and management both within Kuwait and multinational deployments. From 2019 to 2020, he was the military defense attaché of Kuwait in Belgium and the Kuwaiti mission's representative to NATO.  

From 2015 to 2019, he was the Commandant of the Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College of Kuwait overseeing and developing policy and strategy and managing personnel and infrastructure. Prior to that, he was appointed Director of Studies at the College (2011-2015) and the principal advisor to the Commandant. 

Previously, he served as the Commander of the Combined ships Task Force 152 (2012-2013) overseeing the planning and execution of operations in the Gulf, Director of Kuwait Naval Institute (2009-2011), Deputy Flotilla Commander (2007-2009), and Commander of Squadrons 72,73 and 74 (2005-2007). 

Starting from 1981, Mr. Dashti served in various capacities ranging from principal warfare officer, executive officer, training officer and liaison officer within the Kuwaiti armed forces, including in regional and international deployments. 

Mr. Dashti holds a Master’s in International Studies from King’s College, London. He has attended the Naval Staff College of Newport, USA, the Joint Staff College of Norfolk, USA, and the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. Mr. Dashti also holds a B.Sc. in Education and Teaching from the University of Technology in Sydney. He speaks English and Arabic. 


New York, 28 December 2022

Antonio Guterrs

António Guterres

Secretary General

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United Nations

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