Biographical Note

6 November 2001


NEW YORK, 5 November (UN Headquarters) -- On 3 October 2001, the Secretary-General appointed Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi as his Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Mr. Brahimi is entrusted with overall authority for the humanitarian, human rights and political endeavours of the United Nations in Afghanistan. He will also initiate preparations for the transition to the post-conflict peace-building phase, through the development of plans for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of that country. He will oversee the activities of, and will be supported by, the two existing pillars of the United Nations system regarding Afghanistan: the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA), and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance.

Mr. Brahimi previously served as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan from July 1997 until October 1999.

Between his Afghanistan responsibilities, while Under-Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Support of the Secretary-General’s Preventive and Peacemaking efforts, he chaired an independent panel established by Secretary-General Annan to review United Nations Peace Operations. The report, produced by this panel in 2000 and known as the "Brahimi Report", assessed the shortcomings of the existing system of peacekeeping and made specific recommendations for change, focused on politics, strategy and operational and organizational areas of need.

Prior to his first Afghanistan appointment, Mr. Brahimi served as Special Representative for Haiti (from 1994 to 1996), and Special Representative for South Africa. In the latter position, he led the United Nations Observer Mission until the 1994 democratic elections that resulted in Nelson Mandela taking the presidency of post-apartheid South Africa. He has also undertaken special missions on behalf of the Secretary-General to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Yemen and Liberia.

Mr. Brahimi was Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria from 1991 to 1993. He served as Rapporteur to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit).

From 1984 to 1991, he was Under-Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and served from 1989 to 1991 as Special Envoy of the Arab League Tripartite Committee to Lebanon, mediating the end of the civil war in that country.

Mr. Brahimi was Diplomatic Adviser to the President of Algeria from 1982 to 1984, Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1971 to 1979, and Ambassador to Egypt and the Sudan, as well as Permanent Representative to the Arab League in Cairo, from 1963 to 1970.

From 1956 to 1961, during Algeria’s independence struggle, he was the National Liberation Front (FLN) representative in South-East Asia, resident in Jakarta.

Mr. Brahimi was educated in Algeria and France (law and political science), and is fluent in Arabic, English and French. Born on 1 January 1934, he is married with three children.

* *** *