Ban pays tribute to UN’s first-ever peacekeeping chief

14 July 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is mourning the death of Marrack Goulding of the United Kingdom, the first person to serve as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operatoins.

Known to his colleagues as MIG, he was initially appointed Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs in charge of peacekeeping in 1986 after a distinguished diplomatic career, and played a decisive role in shaping the new Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) when it was established in 1992.

“He led an area of exponential growth at an exceptionally challenging time of change for the Organization and for the world as a whole,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

His “sure-footed diplomatic judgment and firm leadership,” it noted, were “indispensable assets” as Mr. Goulding distinguished himself on assignments ranging from the post-independence settlement in Namibia to the Iran-Iraq conflict.

He was also involved in the UN’s work in Cambodia, Central America, Lebanon and the former Yugoslavia.

From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Goulding served as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, inspiring a generation of younger colleagues, before serving as Warden of St. Antony’s College at Oxford University for one decade.

“The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to Mr. Goulding’s family and to the Government of the United Kingdom, as he joins colleagues and friends around the world in paying tribute to a pioneer among international civil servants,” the statement said.

 

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