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In Memoriam -
In remembrance of those members of the UN Family who lost their lives
in the earthquake in Haiti, 12 January 2010

Mr. Luiz Carlos da Costa, 1949 - 2010

Deputy Special Representative to Haiti (Brazil)

Luiz Carlos da Costa

Luiz Carlos da Costa, a national of Brazil, was the Principal Deputy Special Representative for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). 

With a long and distinguished career of over 40 years with the UN, Luiz joined the Organization in 1969 in New York and was stationed in various field missions, including the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). 

Luiz was one of the “Group of 51,” the first group of general service staff members who succeeded at the first competitive examination for promotion to the professional category, commonly known as the G-to-P exam, offered in 1979. Throughout his career, Luiz remained a strong supporter of the G-to-P exam, and was always ready to help colleagues who wanted to sit for the exam and try to make the leap to the professional category.

After working in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, Luiz joined the newly founded Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 1992 and until 2000 was Chief of Personnel Management and Support Service in the Field Administration and Logistics Division in New York.

He then was stationed on and off in Kosovo until 2003, and in 2005 Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him the Deputy Special Representative for Operations and Rule of Law in Liberia.

In 2006, Luiz joined MINUSTAH where he highlighted strategies for public outreach and organized programmes for youth, such as teaching songs to children from the troubled Cité Soleil and basic martial arts with the help of the peacekeepers from China.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described Luiz as a legend of UN peacekeeping and said “his legacy lives in the thousands that serve under the blue flag in every corner of the globe.” Mr. Ban said he was “a mentor to generations of UN staff. He knew them, he knew their families, and his heart was always open to hear their story and to help them.”

Luiz spoke repeatedly about the challenges and prospects of peacekeeping missions as they transitioned into the 21st century. During his time in Liberia, he said that “sustainable peace must be founded on the bedrock of a genuinely democratic law enforcement agency. This is our common goal and jointly we must strive to achieve it.”

His colleagues at Headquarters and at duty stations admired his professionalism and dedication. “He was always available and encouraging us, pointing us in the right direction,” one of them said.

Other colleagues called him “a humble peace maker par excellence who stood for justice” and who warmly engaged everybody.

Luiz graduated from New York University in 1978 with an M.A. in International Business and Political Science.

Luiz is survived by his wife Maria Cristina and their two daughters, Anna Maria and Marianna.