United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced that he has appointed veteran diplomat Staffan de Mistura as the new special envoy tasked with seeking a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in Syria.
Mr. de Mistura, who has served as the head of the UN missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, will take on the peace-facilitation role previously held by Lakhdar Brahimi, who resigned in May, and before that by Kofi Annan.
“The Special Envoy will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis,” the UN chief told journalists.
Mr. Ban also announced that, after consulting with Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby of the League of Arab States, he is appointing Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy as the Deputy Special Envoy for Syria.
The conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has led to well over 150,000 deaths, and more than 680,000 people have been injured. More than 9.3 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced.
The conflict has also spawned a refugee crisis in which some 2.5 million people are being sheltered in neighbouring countries.
Mr. de Mistura, a dual national of Italy and Sweden, brings with him more than three decades of experience with the UN family, including in conflict-affected areas as well as within humanitarian agencies.