United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Staffan de Mistura of Italy as Personal Envoy for the Sahara.
He succeeds the German Horst Köhler, who completed his mission on May 22, 2019. The new Personal Envoy will provide his good offices on behalf of the Secretary General. It will work with all relevant interlocutors, including parties, neighboring countries and other stakeholders, guided by Security Council resolution 2548 (2020) and other relevant resolutions.
Staffan de Mistura brings more than 40 years of experience in diplomacy and political affairs. During his career at the United Nations, he served as the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, offering his good offices to promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. Previous appointments include the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Iraq, the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for South Lebanon and the Director of the United Nations Information Center in Rome. He has also served the Organization in various positions in Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, among others.
In addition to his service to the United Nations, he was appointed Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and subsequently Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in Italy.
Staffan de Mistura speaks English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish, as well as Arabic (colloquial).