24 July 2006

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Jean Arnault of France Special Representative for Georgia

NEW YORK, 21 July (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Jean Arnault of France as his Special Representative for Georgia and Head of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG).  Mr. Arnault will replace Heidi Tagliavini of Switzerland who has served in that capacity since July 2002 and will complete her assignment in July 2006.

Mr. Arnault comes to this position with extensive experience in United Nations peace operations.  Most recently, between March 2004 and February 2006, he served as the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, where he was also Deputy since March 2002. 

From January 1997 to May 2000, Mr. Arnault served as Special Representative for Guatemala and, from June 2000 to August 2001, as Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi.  He was also Observer and then Mediator in the Guatemala peace negotiations from January 1994 to December 1996, Political Adviser to the Special Representative for Western Sahara in 1991, and Senior Political Affairs Officer in Namibia and Afghanistan. 

Mr. Arnault, born in 1951, is married and has one child.  He speaks English, French, Russian and Spanish.  He is a graduate in Philosophy from the University of Sorbonne-Paris I, and has a postgraduate diploma in conference interpretation from the Polytechnic of Central London.  He was a visiting fellow at the Center for International Studies at Princeton University in 2001.

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*  This supersedes Press Release SG/A/865-AFG/247-BIO/3553 of 11 February 2004.