Press Releases

    9 May 2005

    Secretary-General Appoints Alvaro de Soto as New Middle East Envoy

    NEW YORK, 6 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Alvaro de Soto as United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

    Mr. de Soto will assume functions immediately so that he may accompany the Secretary-General to the meeting on 9 May in Moscow of the Quartet for Middle East Peace.  He succeeds Terje Roed-Larsen, who served in this position from October 1999 through December 2004.

    The appointment of a new Middle East envoy comes at a time of renewed momentum for peace that must be sustained by the parties and strongly supported by the international community.  The Special Coordinator will play an essential role in that regard, coordinating all United Nations activities related to the Middle East peace process and representing the Secretary-General in all arenas involving the parties and the international community.  He will act as the Secretary-General’s envoy to the Quartet.

    The Special Coordinator will be guided by the principles of the relevant Security Council resolutions on the Middle East and by the Road Map for peace put forward by the Quartet.

    Mr. de Soto, of Peru, brings to the job vast experience in United Nations peacemaking.  He served most recently as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Western Sahara, following prior postings that include Special Advisor on Cyprus, Special Envoy for Myanmar, Personal Representative to the Central American Peace Process and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

    The Secretary-General acknowledges the excellent job Terje Roed-Larsen has done in serving as Special Coordinator and as his Personal Representative, displaying the highest standard of efficiency, competence and integrity.

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