Vatican City — Pope Francis named Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, a Vatican diplomat who has served in the Russian Federation and other former Soviet republics, to represent the Vatican at Geneva-based U.N. agencies and at the World Trade Organization.
The Vatican announced the appointment Feb. 13. The 63-year-old Slovenian was appointed just one day after the historic meeting of Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba.
Jurkovic has extensive experience in diplomacy. Born June 10, 1952, in Kocevje, Slovenia, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 and earned a degree in canon law.
He entered the Vatican diplomatic corps in 1984 and served at Vatican embassies and offices in Korea, Colombia and Russia. He was then assigned to the Vatican's Secretariat of State, in which was called to head a number of Vatican delegations attending intergovernmental meetings on religious freedom and economic justice.
After becoming an archbishop in 2001, he served as apostolic nuncio to Belarus. He was then appointed nuncio to Ukraine from 2004 to 2011 and then the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan in 2011.
Jurkovic replaces now-retired Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, who was appointed permanent observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva by St. John Paul II in 2003.