The head of the Norwegian Red Cross today was named as the new United Nations official in charge of coordinating the world body’s humanitarian efforts around the world.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Jan Egeland to succeed Kenzo Oshima of Japan as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Humanitarian Relief Coordinator.
Mr. Egeland, who has 25 years of experience in humanitarian, human rights and peace work, was previously Mr. Annan’s Special Adviser on Colombia from 1999 to 2002.
He has also been an active participant in a number of peace processes. He co-initiated and co-organized the Norwegian Channel between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1992, which led to the Oslo Accord (Declaration of Principles) of September 1993. He directed the Norwegian facilitation of the UN-led peace talks leading up to ceasefire agreement between the Government of Guatemala and the URNG guerrillas, which was signed in Oslo in 1996. He also led the host delegation when the Ottawa treaty to ban land mines was successfully negotiated and adopted in Oslo in 1997.