|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Appoints Romano Prodi of Italy as Special Envoy for Sahel
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Mr. Romano Prodi of Italy as his Special Envoy for the Sahel. The Secretary-General looks forward to Mr. Prodi’s leadership in shaping and mobilizing an effective United Nations and international response to the complex crisis plaguing the countries and people of this region.
Mr. Prodi will work closely with the members of the United Nations family, both at Headquarters and those in the field, to coordinate United Nations system-wide efforts to finalize and implement the United Nations Integrated Regional Strategy for the Sahel. Mr. Prodi will also conduct wide-ranging consultations with Member States of the region, regional and subregional organizations and other international partners on the finalization and implementation of the Strategy.
The Special Envoy will undertake good offices on behalf of the Secretary-General, particularly in support of national, regional and international mediation efforts in the subregion, and especially regarding cross-border and transnational issues. He will help generate, sustain and coordinate international engagement in support of national efforts of Sahelian countries to address the multifaceted crisis, including with an initial focus on Mali.
Mr. Prodi has an extensive career in international diplomacy, academia and at the helm of international organizations. He served as Prime Minister of Italy from 2006 to 2008 and from 1996 to 1998. Mr. Prodi also served as President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2005, overseeing the introduction of the euro, the enlargement of the European Union to ten countries from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, and the treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. Earlier, Mr. Prodi served as Italian Minister of Industry (1978-1979) and head of the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction.
After serving as the Prime Minister, Mr. Prodi continued to work in academia and international diplomacy. He held academic teaching positions at Brown University and at the China-Europe International Business School. He continues to serve as President of the Foundation for Worldwide Cooperation, whose objective is to tackle “social, cultural, political issues in the world”, developing and offering new proposals of cooperation in the international context. In 2008, he served as Chairman of the United Nations-African Union High-level Panel for Peacekeeping in Africa.
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