Biographical note

Sergio Vieira de Mello of Brazil, who was killed in a terror attack in Baghdad while serving as Secretary-General Special Representative in Iraq, has been the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights begining on 12 September 2002 after the UN General Assembly approved his appointment by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Until May 2002, Mr. Vieira de Mello was the United Nations Transitional Administrator in East Timor. Prior to that, he briefly held the position of Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Kosovo, following a year and a half serving at Headquarters as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

He has been with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1969, culminating in his appointment as United Nations Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees in January 1996. He has extensive Headquarters and field experience in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, including in Bangladesh, Sudan, Cyprus, Mozambique, Peru and Lebanon. Mr. Vieira de Mello has 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 (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 a doctorate from the University of Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne). Born on 15 March 1948, he is married and has two sons.

29 August 2003

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