United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 31 October 2018 the appointment of Ambassador Ambassador Geir O. Pedersen of Norway as his Special Envoy for Syria.
‘I am very pleased that the UN Secretary-General has given one of our foremost diplomats the important task of leading the UN’s efforts in forging an inclusive and credible political solution in Syria,’ said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide about the appointment.
Until Mr Pedersen takes over, the present Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will continue his efforts to achieve progress in the political negotiations. This includes establishing a Constitutional Committee for Syria.
Mr Pedersen has broad experience from the Middle East. From 2003 to 2008, he worked for the UN, among other things as UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. He was a member of the Norwegian team that led the Oslo Process and has been Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority.
From 2008 to 2012, Mr Pedersen was Director General of the Department for UN and Humanitarian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he was in charge of Norway’s peace and reconciliation efforts. From 2012 to 2017, he served as Norway’s Ambassador to the UN in New York.
He has been Norway’s Ambassador to China since September 2017.
A Special Envoy of the Secretary-General is a senior United Nations official appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to deal with a set of specific issues.