United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Michel Kafando of Burkina Faso as his Special Envoy. Mr. Kafando’s role will include leading and coordinating the United Nations political efforts to promote peace and sustainable development in Burundi. Furthermore, he will provide assistance to the efforts of the East African Community for political dialogue among Burundi role players.
Mr. Kafando brings to the position more than three decades of extensive experience in high-level international diplomacy and politics. From November 2014 to December 2015, he was President of the Transition and Head of State of Burkina Faso. While serving in that capacity, he oversaw the peaceful restoration of democratic rule in his country, following the uprising in 2014. A diplomat with a distinguished career since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, Mr. Kafando served his country as Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1981 to 1982 and again from 1998 to 2011. From 1982 to 1983, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Kafando graduated with a Master’s degree in public law from the University of Bordeaux in 1969, and obtained a postgraduate diploma in political science from the Paris-Sorbonne University in 1972 and a diploma in diplomacy from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Geneva the same year. He earned his Ph.D. in political science at the Paris-Sorbonne University in 1990.
Born in 1942, he is married and has two children.