14 January 2005

Secretary-General Appoints Staffan de Mistura of Sweden as His Deputy Special Representative for Iraq

NEW YORK, 13 January (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Staffan de Mistura of Sweden as his Deputy Special Representative for Iraq. Mr. de Mistura, who is currently the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for southern Lebanon, will retain this function and will concurrently remain in charge of the Beirut office until his successor in Beirut is appointed.

During the last four years, Mr. de Mistura has served as Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for southern Lebanon, focusing on preventive diplomacy initiatives related to the containment of tension along the Blue Line. In addition, during the same period, he was instrumental in launching and coordinating the highly successful de-mining operation of southern Lebanon.

Prior to his appointment in Beirut, Mr. de Mistura was Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Rome. For more than three decades, he has served the United Nations in many capacities mostly related to humanitarian operations in conflict areas.

Mr. de Mistura served as the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq from March through August 1997. Prior to that, he held the posts of Director of the Division of Public Affairs of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNICEF Representative in Somalia.

Mr. de Mistura has served the United Nations in many other capacities, including as Director of Fund-Raising and External Relations of the United Nations Office of the Coordinator for Afghanistan from 1988 to 1991, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Albania in 1990, Director of the World Food Programme operations in the Sudan in 1987 and as the Food and Agricultural Organization's Deputy Chef de Cabinet, from 1976 to 1985. In addition, he was given special humanitarian assignments to Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Viet Nam and the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

In 1999, Mr. de Mistura became a member of the Security Council Panel on Humanitarian Issues in Iraq, and from April to June of the same year, he was the Special Advisor to the High Commissioner for Refugees on the Kosovo crisis before he was appointed as Regional Administrator of Mitrovica Region-Kosovo. In June 2000, he was Special Rapporteur during the Fribourg Forum on the Regional Cooperation and Coordination in Crisis Management for Europe and the Newly Independent States (NIS).

Mr. de Mistura, who speaks Swedish, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Arabic (colloquial), is married and has two daughters.

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