1 April 2005

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Geir O. Pedersen of Norway as Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon

NEW YORK, 31 March (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General has appointed Geir O. Pedersen of Norway as his Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon.  He is replacing Staffan de Mistura, who has been appointed Deputy Special Representative for Iraq.

During the last two years Mr. Pedersen has served as Director of Asia and Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs.  In this capacity, he has also worked on the Middle East peace process and Iraq.

Prior to his appointment as Director in the Department of Political Affairs, Mr. Pedersen served for many years as a Norwegian diplomat.  Between November 1998 and March 2003, he served as the Norwegian Representative to the Palestinian Authority.  From 1995 to 1998, he held different positions at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, among them as Chief of Staff for the Norwegian Foreign Minister.  Mr. Pedersen has also served as a Norwegian diplomat in China and Germany.

In 1993, he was a member of the Norwegian team to the secret Oslo negotiations that led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles and the mutual recognition between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel.

From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Pedersen was Director of FAFO, Norwegian Institute for Applied Social Science, concentrating on living conditions surveys in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Mr. Pedersen holds a Master of Arts in History.  He is married with five children.

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