Press Releases

    SG/A/837
    BIO/3494
    IK/361
    29 May 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO
    AS HIS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAQ

    NEW YORK, 28 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General announced on 27 May the appointment of Sergio Vieira de Mello, presently the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as his Special Representative for Iraq for a period of four months. In Mr. Vieira de Mello’s absence from Geneva, the Secretary-General has designated the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Gangapersaud Ramcharan, as Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Prior to his appointment as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September 2002, Mr. Vieira de Mello served as the United Nations Transitional Administrator in East Timor. In 1998, Mr. Vieira de Mello served at Headquarters as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for a year and a half. He later served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Kosovo (June-July 1999).

    Mr. Vieira de Mello served with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1969 in various capacities, including as Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees in January 1996. He has extensive Headquarters and field experience in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, including those in Bangladesh, Sudan, Cyprus, Mozambique, Peru and Lebanon. Mr. Vieira de Mello also served as Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Cambodia, Director of Repatriation for the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), Head of Civil Affairs of the United Nations Protection Force in the former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR), as well as United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes region of Africa.

    Mr. Vieira de Mello studied in Brazil and France, receiving two doctorates from the University of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne). He was born on 15 March 1948.

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