Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran United Nations envoy whose most recent missions included helping the post-war transitions in Afghanistan and Iraq, is retiring at the end of this year, it was announced today.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan voiced “great regret” at Mr. Brahimi’s decision after his “long and highly valuable service” to the world body.
“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,” the statement said.
“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.”
A former Algerian foreign minister with wide experience in international diplomacy, Mr. Brahimi was named Mr. Annan’s Special Adviser with the rank of Under-Secretary-General in January 2004, and headed a UN team studying the feasibility of holding elections in Iraq following the United States-led invasion the previous year.
He served as Mr. Annan’s Special Representative to Afghanistan from 2002 to 2004, his second stint in the war-wracked nation where he was the Secretary-General's Special Envoy from 1997 to 1999.
Between his two assignments in Afghanistan, he served as Under-Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Support of the Secretary-General's Preventive and Peacemaking efforts. During that time, he produced what became known as the Brahimi report, a study of the existing system of peacekeeping and its shortcomings.
Before his term in Afghanistan, Mr. Brahimi was the UN Special Representative to Haiti and to South Africa. He also undertook special missions on behalf of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire), Liberia and Yemen.