A New U.N. Special Coordinator is Appointed

On 10 September 1999, the U.N. Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, announced the appointment of a new “United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority”.  The post had previously been titled “United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories”.

H.E. Ambassador Chinmaya R. Gharekhan, who was appointed in October 1996 as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the multilateral talks on Middle East peace and the U.N. Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, relinquished his post on 30 September 1999.  Mr. Gharekhan competently and dedicatedly served in his post over the past 3 years despite many difficult circumstances during that time under the previous Israeli government.

The Secretary-General’s new appointment is Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen of Norway.  Mr. Larsen served as the first U.N. Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories from June 1994 until October 1996.  Mr. Larsen is well known for his role as part of the Norwegian group that helped facilitate the peace process towards the reaching of the Oslo agreements.

As noted by the Secretary-General in announcing the appointment, the base of operations for the Special Coordinator will remain in Gaza and the present functions and responsibilities will continue.  Stressing the importance of socio-economic development in this regard, the Secretary-General stated, “The new Special Coordinator will be charged with making appropriate preparations within the United Nations for enhancing United Nations Development assistance in support of the peace process.”  Moreover, referring to the new responsibilities of the post, he stated that the Special Coordinator would represent the Secretary-General “in discussions with the parties and the international community in all matters related to continuing United Nations support to the peace process.”