Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced his decision to appoint Staffan de Mistura as his Personal Representative for southern Lebanon. Mr. de Mistura will succeed Rolf Knutsson who has been reassigned to Geneva as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Compensation Commission.
In his new function, Mr. de Mistura will be responsible, among other things, for coordinating United Nations activities in southern Lebanon related to Security Council resolutions 425 and 426. He will maintain an office in Beirut and work closely with the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process, Terje Rød-Larsen.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden in January 1947, Staffan de Mistura joined the United Nations system in 1970, when he worked as a World Food Programme (WFP) project officer in the Sudan. For more than twenty years, he has worked in field and Headquarters assignments for United Nations agencies and programmes in Africa, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. His most recent posting, since 1997, was as Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Rome.
Mr. de Mistura studied political science and development economics at the University of Rome. He is married and has two daughters. He speaks Swedish, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and colloquial Arabic.
Staffan de Mistura is expected to assume his new duties in Beirut in early January 2001.