Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ban taps US negotiations expert to fill Afghanistan post

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Peter W. Galbraith, a diplomatic negotiations expert from the United States, as one of two deputy United Nations envoys in Afghanistan, his spokesperson announced today.

As Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan, with responsibility for political affairs, Mr. Galbraith will be responsible for issues such as electoral and parliamentary matters, as well as those related to peace and stability, security sector reform, and human rights.

In those duties, he replaces Christopher Alexander of Canada who will be completing his assignment with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) at the end of this month.

“The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Alexander for his dedicated service in Afghanistan over the past three years, during which he made a valuable contribution to UNAMA’s efforts to foster peace and stability in Afghanistan,” spokesperson Michele Montas said.

Mr. Galbraith is currently a Senior Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and founder of the Windham Resources Group LLC, a firm that specializes in international negotiations and strategies.

He has also had many years of humanitarian and security policy experience from involvement in negotiations on Iraq, the former Yugoslavia and Timor-Leste.

In addition, he served as United States Ambassador to Croatia and a senior adviser to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, with major responsibilities for the Near East, South Asia and international organizations.

He has also been a senior legal adviser to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and has received awards for his work to protect the environment and to promote international educational exchange.

UNAMA is headed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, and currently has some 1,500 staff across the country. It is an “integrated” Mission with two main areas of operation – development and humanitarian affairs, headed by Deputy Special Representative Bo Asplund, and political affairs.