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Lakhdar Brahimi


Lakhdar Brahimi (Algerian pronunciation: [læxdˤɑr bræhiːmi]; Arabic: الأخضر الإبراهيمى‎; born 1 January 1934) is an Algerian United Nations envoy and advisor, and since August 2012, the United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria. He is also a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders working for global peace.[1] Brahimi is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the first global initiative to focus specifically on the link between exclusion, poverty and law. He is also a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to promote good governance around the world. He is currently a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a governing board member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Early life and education

Brahimi was born in 1934 in El Azizia near Tablat, Algeria about 60 km south of Algiers. He was educated in Algeria and in France where he studied law and political science. He joined the campaign for independence in France in 1956, representing the National Liberation Front in South East Asia for five years.[3]

Career

Brahimi was the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan and Iraq. Before his appointment in 2001 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he had served the U.N. as special representative to Haiti and to South Africa. Before coming to the U.N., Brahimi, who represented the National Liberation Front in Tunis during Algeria's 1956–1961 independence movement, was an Arab League official (1984–1991) and the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1991 until 1993. Brahimi was also chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which produced the influential Brahimi Report.
On a visit to Baghdad in April 2004 to help determine how and when Iraqi elections can be held, he said that the recent violence threatens to delay Iraqi national assembly elections—the national assembly is to pick the president and write a constitution.
"The elections scheduled to take place in January 2005 are the most important milestone," Brahimi said. "There is no substitute for the legitimacy that comes from free and fair elections."(Witter, 2004)
Brahimi suggested that the Iraq Interim Governing Council should be dissolved, and that most of its members should not have any role in the new government. Though the council was in fact dissolved early, some of its members will have major roles in the new government. The president, one of the two vice-presidents, and the prime minister are all from the council. Most prominently, his criticism of Ahmed Chalabi has led to Chalabi's claim that Brahimi is an Arab nationalist who should have no role in determining the future of Iraq. At the same time, close allies of Chalabi have been pushing claims that various world leaders and the UN took bribes from Saddam Hussein under the Oil for Food program.
In May 2004, Brahimi was supposed to play a large advisory role in the appointment of candidates, which ended up selecting as Iraq's new interim President and Prime Minister: Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer and Iyad Allawi, respectively. However, Brahimi expressed serious disappointment and frustration about his role. "Bremer is the dictator of Iraq, He has the money. He has the signature. ... I will not say who was my first choice, and who was not my first choice ... I will remind you that the Americans are governing this country." According to a person who spoke with him, "He was very disappointed, very frustrated," al Dulame said. "I asked him why he didn't say that publicly (and) he said, `I am the U.N. envoy to Iraq, how can I admit to failure?'"[4] Brahimi announced his resignation, resulting from "great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq", at the UN in New York on 12 June.[5] While serving as the United Nations envoy to Iraq, he described Israel's policy towards the Palestinians as "the big poison in the region".[6]
On 5 February, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon appointed Brahimi to lead a panel investigation on United Nations staff security in the wake of the December 11, 2007 Algiers bombings.[7] He was one of the founders of the French language Journal of Palestine Studies called La revue d'étude palestinienne.
On 17 August 2012, Brahimi was appointed by the United Nations as the new peace envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan.[8] [9]

Career history

From 1996–1997, he also undertook a series of special missions to Zaire, Cameroon, Yemen, Burundi, Angola, Liberia, Nigeria, Sudan and Côte d'Ivoire of behalf of the United Nations.

Distinctions

In 2010, Lakhdar Brahimi was Laureate of the Special Jury Prize for Conflict Prevention [10] awarded by the Fondation Chirac, a foundation which was launched in 2008 by former French president Jacques Chirac in order to promote world peace.

Personal life

Brahimi is fluent in Arabic, French and English.[3] He is married and has three children.[3] His daughter, Rym Brahimi, who was a CNN correspondent in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War, is married to Prince Ali of Jordan..[2]
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