SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS SØREN JESSEN-PETERSEN OF DENMARK
AS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE IN KOSOVO
The Secretary-General has informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Søren Jessen-Petersen of Denmark as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Mr. Jessen-Petersen will succeed Harri Holkeri, who has resigned for health reasons effective 11 June 2004.
The Secretary-General would like to take this opportunity to express his deep appreciation for the dedicated service and leadership provided by Mr. Holkeri in often very difficult circumstances, and to commend Mr. Holkeri’s contribution to the implementation of resolution 1244 (1999).
Mr. Jessen-Petersen has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an international civil servant, working with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Secretariat and most recently the European Union. He served as the European Union Special Representative in Skopje since 1 February 2004. In this post he was responsible for establishing and maintaining close contact between the European Union and the Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as well as the other parties involved in the peace process. Prior to this he served as the Chairman of the European Union Stability Pact’s Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI), where he initiated, developed and directed a strategy to manage population movements in the Western Balkans. Mr. Jessen-Petersen also chaired the MARRI Steering Committee, composed of the States of the Western Balkans, European Union member States, other State members of the Stability Pact, relevant international organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and non-governmental organizations.
Mr. Jessen-Petersen served as Assistant High Commissioner at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva from January 1998 to December 2001 in which capacity he headed all UNHCR operations, directly supervising all UNHCR global Bureaus and undertaking over 80 missions to numerous field offices.
Prior to this he served as Director of the UNHCR Liaison Office at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from August 1994 until January 1998. As such, he functioned as the High Commissioner’s liaison with the Secretary-General’s Office, as well as other United Nations Departments. He represented the High Commissioner as a member of various committees and meetings at the United Nations Headquarters, including Secretary-General’s Steering Committee on United Nations Reform and the Executive Committees on Peace and Security, and Humanitarian Affairs.
From December 1995 to September 1996, Mr. Jessen-Petersen served as the High Commissioner’s Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia (based in Sarajevo), where he was responsible for developing the strategy for and overseeing the implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement and directed a
$350 million humanitarian operation for approximately 4 million refugees, displaced persons, returnees and other victims, and managing more than 500 UNHCR staff.
Between 1990 and 1993, Mr. Jessen-Petersen served as the Chef de Cabinet of the High Commissioner in UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva. As such, he served as main political and diplomatic advisor to the High Commissioner. Simultaneously, he was the Director of External Relations (1992-1994) and directed UNHCR’s external contacts with governments and other organizations, fund raising and public information activities during a period when UNHCR was mobilizing some $1 billion annually.
In 1989, he served, on secondment from UNHCR, as Special Adviser to the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and as a member of the Secretary-General’s Task Force on the process leading to the independence of Namibia.
In 1986, Mr. Jessen-Petersen opened the UNHCR Regional Office for Nordic countries where, based in Stockholm, he served as the High Commissioner’s Regional Representative until 1989, covering Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. His other assignments include: Chairman of UNHCR’s Appointments, Promotion and Postings Board (1993); Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Conference on Asylum-Seekers and Refugees in Europe (1985); Executive Secretary of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa (ICARA II) from 1983 to 1984; Chief of Secretariat of UNHCR’s Executive Committee (1981-1982). He also served with UNHCR in Africa (Zambia, Egypt and Ethiopia) from 1972 to 1977.
Mr. Jessen-Petersen is a lawyer and journalist by training, and has numerous publications. He is married and has four children.
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