Marc Plum, 1958 - 2010
Chief, Electoral Assistance Section (France)
Marc Plum, a national of France, spent most of his career in the French civil service. He joined the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in 2005 as the Chief of its Regional Office and then moved on to the Mission’s Governance and Institutional Support Office. In 2007 he became Chief of MINUSTAH’s Electoral Assistance Section.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner gave an emotional tribute to Marc and his colleagues Hédi Annabi and Luiz Carlos da Costa. “I give special mention to Marc Plum,” Mr. Kouchner said. “The staff here at the Ministry joins me to salute the memory of a colleague who was universally valued, and to send a message of support to his family, his children and his loved ones.”
Marc began his career as a junior legal advisor in the French Ministry of Justice and spent some time as the policy advisor in the UN section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also had stints in the French Embassies in Mexico and Austria, and in Paris with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Marc is remembered by colleagues for his professionalism. “Marc remained collected throughout the challenge of that very tough year for Haiti,” said a colleague. “He very quickly sized up his surroundings in Haiti, and his analyses of the situation were always pertinent,” said another. “You would always find him behind his desk. I teased him about it, we would joke and then he would go back to the long day of work.”
Marc often used his signature sense of humour to ease the pressure of his environment. “His wit was never far from the surface,” said a UN staffer, who recalled the day when he heard that his next posting would be in Pakistan. Marc immediately joked with him about the danger there. “I’m laughing through my tears now,” he said.
“Many Haitians were victims of kidnappings and confrontations between gangs in Port-au-Prince and a certain anxiety was ever-present, even at MINUSTAH,” said a colleague. “But Marc always stayed relatively calm. When the earthquake struck the headquarters, I suppose, like always, Marc was there working.”
An asset to MINUSTAH, his efforts did not go unnoticed. “He was very polite and a gentleman”, said a colleague. “Even through the obstacles we encountered, we succeeded in our job because his professionalism surpassed the challenges and Haiti benefited from his experience and commitment to do his best.”
Marc studied general and international law at the University of Law and Economic Sciences in Strasbourg, and Jurisprudence at l’Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature in Bordeaux.
Marc is survived by his wife Michèle and their three children.