The Secretary-General is pleased to announce the appointment of Sima Samar and Juan Gabriel Valdés to his High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. Ms. Samar and Mr. Valdés succeed Michelle Bachelet and José Manuel Ramos-Horta, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for their valued expertise during their membership of the Board.
The High-Level Advisory Board was established on 13 September 2017 to provide the Secretary-General with advice on mediation initiatives and back specific mediation efforts around the world. The Board is composed of 18 current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts who bring together an unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts.
The Secretary-General considers the Board part of his “surge in diplomacy for peace” in support of the prevention and mediation activities of the United Nations. The Board allows the United Nations to work more effectively with Member States, regional organizations, non-governmental groups and others involved in the area of mediation around the world.
Sima Samar (Afghanistan)
Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, Ms. Samar was, from 2005 to 2009, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. She has overseen the expansion of human rights education, the implementation of a women's rights program, and the monitoring and investigation of human rights abuses across Afghanistan. Ms. Samar was the Vice-Chair of the Emergency Loya Jirga, a role that brought her political and negotiating skills to the fore, and the first Deputy Chair and Minister of Women's Affairs in the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. She founded the Shuhada Organization, which operates 55 schools in Afghanistan as well as three schools for Afghan refugees in Quetta, Pakistan.
Juan Gabriel Valdés (Chile)
Mr. Valdés was Foreign Minister of Chile, former Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and, most recently, Ambassador to the United States. He was the first Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and recently led a strategic assessment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). A respected political figure in the Latin American and the Caribbean region, he is recognized for his political skills including when, as Special Representative of the Secretary-General, he led the international community’s response to the tensions following the 2006 presidential elections in Haiti. He has worked closely with the Club de Madrid and is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, which is composed of former Heads of State and leaders in foreign policy.