Lakhdar Brahimi
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Former Algerian Foreign Minister and Ambassador, Lakhdar Brahimi retired from national service in 1993 and started a new career as an international diplomat, working mainly for the United Nations until the end of 2005.

He recently spent two years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, USA. He is also W.D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University. He is presently (2009/2010) Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Government, The London School of Economics.

He is a member of "The Elders," a Group of elder statesmen and personalities created in July 2007 at the initiative of Nelson Mandela. Chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Elders include Kofi Annan, Maarti Aahtissari, Ella Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardozo, Jimmy Carter, Graca Machel, and Mary Robinson. Nelson Mandela (at his request, in 2008) and Aung San Suu Kyi are Honorary Members.

Brahimi took an active part in the struggle for liberation of his country (1954/1962) and served as Algeria's Ambassador to Egypt (1963/69) and the United Kingdom (1971/1979). He also was Under Secretary General of the League of Arab States (1984-1991) and Foreign Minister (1991/1993). He was the rapporteur of the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Ambassador Brahimi has done extensive work in the field of conflict resolution, peace-making, peace-keeping and worked more generally on peace and security issues.

When Mr. Brahimi relinquished his position in the United Nations, in December 2005, Secretary-General Kofi Annan made the following statement: "The Secretary-General has accepted, with great regret, the decision of his Special Adviser, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, to retire at the end of this year after long and highly valuable service to the United Nations. The Secretary-General extends his deep and abiding gratitude to Mr. Brahimi for his courage, counsel, wisdom and dedication, and hopes to be able to continue to call on his advice. He wishes Mr. Brahimi an enjoyable and well-earned rest after a series of profoundly challenging assignments, during which he indisputably helped build better lives for millions of people in some of the most troubled regions of the world".

In 1988/1990, he mediated the end of the 17 year civil war in Lebanon on behalf of a High level Committee of the League of Arab States comprised of the President of Algeria and the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Morocco and brokered the "Ta'eif Agreement," which is still very much in the news in Lebanon.

During his time as Under Secretary General of the United Nations (1993/2005) he led some high profile missions.

In 1993/94 he was the head of the United Nations Observer Mission to South Africa (UNOMSA), which observed the historic election in April 1994 that ended apartheid and heralded the birth a the new, non racial, democratic Republic of South Africa with Nelson Mandela as its first President.

From September 1994 to February 1996, Brahimi was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Haiti.

He moved on to Afghanistan as Special Envoy of the Secretary General in 1997. He resigned from that position in September 1999 to protest against the lack of support that UN efforts to end that country's complex conflicts were receiving from the major powers, as well as from regional governments.

After 9/11 he was asked to resume his efforts in Afghanistan. He organized and chaired the Bonn Conference (24November/5 December 2001) and moved on to Kabul to head the new United Nations Assistant Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).

In between his two Afghanistan assignments, he served as 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 was endorsed by the "Millennium Summit" held in September 2000 and became known as the "Brahimi Report." It assessed the shortcomings of the existing system of peacekeeping and made specific recommendations for change, focusing on politics, strategy and operational as well as organizational areas of need. The Brahimi Report and his recommendations remain a key reference work at the United Nations and received wide attention in academia and the media.

In January 2004, Mr Brahimi returned to New York and was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary-General.

From February to June 2004, he was sent to Baghdad as a Special Envoy of the Secretary General to help form a new government for Iraq, which was supposed to herald the return of national sovereignty after the invasion and occupation of that unhappy country by the United States and a number of its allies.

Mr. Brahimi was educated in Algeria and France, and is fluent in Arabic, English and French. He has basic knowledge of Indonesian.

He was awarded Honorary Doctorates from: The American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Oxford University, England; The University of Nice, France; The University of Bologna, Italy. Brahimi is 76. He is married with three children and six grand children


flag Discussion
as author at  The Academic Council on the United Nations System 23rd Annual Meeting,
together with: David Dadge (chairman), Jan Egeland, Edward Mortimer, Abiodun Williams,
flag The UN Under Fire
as author at  The Academic Council on the United Nations System 23rd Annual Meeting,