New York

31 October 2014

Secretary-General's statement on appointment of High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

The world is changing and UN peace operations must change with it if they are to remain an indispensable and effective tool in promoting international peace and security.

That is why I am announcing today the establishment of a High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.  I have appointed Mr. Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste to chair the panel, which will draw together individuals with a wide range of experience and expertise. 

The Panel will make a comprehensive assessment of the state of UN peace operations today, and the emerging needs of the future.  It will consider a broad range of issues facing peace operations, including the changing nature of conflict, evolving mandates, good offices and peacebuilding challenges, managerial and administrative arrangements, planning, partnerships, human rights and protection of civilians, uniformed capabilities for peacekeeping operations and performance. 

The last major external review of peace operations was undertaken in 2000 and led by Mr. Lahkdar Brahimi.  In addition, this will be the first such panel to examine both peacekeeping operations and special political missions.

As we approach the 15-year anniversary of the Brahimi report, we must acknowledge that peace operations today are increasingly called on to confront politically complex and challenging conflicts, often in volatile security environments where operations are directly targeted.  We must take stock of evolving expectations and consider how the Organization can most effectively advance peace, assist countries caught in conflict and ensure that our peacekeeping operations and special political missions remain strong and effective in a changing global context. 

The Panel will work closely with the main UN Departments concerned, as well as with Member States and the UN system as a whole. The Panel’s recommendations to me will be available for consideration by the General Assembly at its 2015 General Debate.


The Secretary General’s High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

Jose Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste)
A Nobel laureate, journalist and promoter of independence for Timor-Leste for thirty years, Mr. Ramos-Horta served as Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and Head of State of a newly independent Timor-Leste.  Upon leaving office, he served as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).

Jean Arnault (France)
Most recently, Mr. Arnault has been a professor at Sciences Po Paris focusing on mediation and settlement of civil wars.  He previously served as United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan; Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG); Special Representative of the Secretary General in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA); Representative of the Secretary General for Burundi and Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi (UNOB); and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Guatemala and Head of the United Nations verification mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).

Abhijit Guha (India)
Lieutenant General Guha is currently a member of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations/Department of Field Support Panel of Experts on Technology.  Prior to this, General Guha served as the first interim Director of the Office for Peacekeeping Strategic Partnerships and, before that, as the Deputy Military Advisor on the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  General Guha is retired from the Indian Army.

Ameerah Haq (Bangladesh)
Ms. Haq currently is United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Field Support.  Previously, Ms. Haq was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).  In the United Nations Mission in Sudan, she was the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General as well as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.  In Afghanistan, she also served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). She has held senior positions within the United Nations Development Programme and served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malaysia and Laos.  She has overall 39 years of United Nations experience, 19 of these in the field.

Andrew Hughes (Australia)
Mr. Hughes served at the United Nations Police Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations during 2007-2009. He subsequently lectured in the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention at the University of Wollongong, mentored in-coming senior United Nations leaders and chaired two United Nations Headquarters Boards of Inquiry into fatal attacks on the United Nations in Afghanistan, and completed UNDP reviews of the Libyan National Police and the Afghan National Police.  Prior to his United Nations service, Mr. Hughes served for over 30 years in the Australian Federal Police, rising to the level of Assistant Commission and serving as Chief Police Officer for the Australian Capital Territory. He was responsible for the Australian Federal Police international operations, including contributions to United Nations missions in East Timor and Cyprus, and led a major reform of the Fiji Police Force as Fiji Police Commissioner.  He chaired the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police and was elected to the executive committee of Interpol. He was appointed as Australia’s Inspector of Transport Security in 2012.

Alexander Ilitchev (Russia)
A career diplomat, Mr. Ilitchev served with the United Nations for fifteen years, including as Senior Officer, Asia and Pacific Division, Team Leader for Northeast Asia, and principal advisor to the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Korean Peninsula in 2003-2005.  Prior to joining the United Nations, he served in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 1974-1992 with assignments in New York (Alternate Representative of Russia to the Security Council and Senior Political Counsellor of the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations); Moscow (Personal Assistant to the Soviet Foreign Minister and U.S.A. Department of the Foreign Ministry); Washington (USSR Embassy), and Syria.

Hilde F. Johnson (Norway)
Hilde F. Johnson served as Special Representative and Head of Mission of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and before that played a key role in the negotiations between Sudan and the SPLM/A leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. Previously, Ms. Johnson served as the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), leading the agency’s humanitarian operations, crisis response and post-crisis transition programmes.  Ms. Johnson has crisis and conflict-related experience in the Horn of Africa, Sudan, Great Lakes region, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Guatemala. Ms. Johnson served as twice as Minister and member of the Norwegian Government Cabinet from 1997 – 2005 Minister and was a member of the Norwegian Government Cabinet and was Member of Parliament from 1993 to 2001. 

Bruce Jones (Canada)
Bruce Jones is senior fellow and deputy director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, and a Consulting Professor at Stanford University.  He is the former Director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation.  He served in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process.  He has also served in advisory positions for the World Bank on fragile states, including as senior external advisor to the World Bank’s 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development.  He was a senior advisor to Kofi Annan on United Nations reform and served as deputy research director to the United Nations High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, as well as lead scholar for the International Task Force on Global Public Goods.

Youssef Mahmoud (Tunisia)
Mr. Mahmoud is currently a Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, contributing to the Africa, Middle East, and peace operations programs and acting as focal point on mediation policies and practices. Before retiring from the United Nations in January 2011, He was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and, before this, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Burundi (BINUB).  He also assumed the responsibilities of Deputy Special Representative with the peacekeeping mission that preceded BINUB.  Since joining the United Nations in 1981, Mr. Mahmoud has held several senior positions, including United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana and Director in the Department of Political Affairs.  He has also held posts with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia and in the Office of Human Resources Management at New York Headquarters. Before joining the United Nations in 1981, Mr. Mahmoud was Assistant Professor at the University of Tunis.

Ian Martin (United Kingdom)
Ian Martin was the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Prior to this, he was Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Post-Conflict Planning for Libya, a position in which he led the integrated pre-assessment process, coordinating with the United Nations system and with the Libyan transitional authorities.  He has appointed to lead Headquarters Board of Inquiry into certain incidents in the Gaza Strip; Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal; Special Envoy for Timor-Leste; Representative in Nepal of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Henrietta Joy Abena Nyarko Mensa-Bonsu (Ghana)
Professor Mensa-Bonsu is the Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) and a Full Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law in the University of Ghana, Legon. She has served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Rule of Law in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).  Prior to this, undertook a number of national assignments and international assignments for the Organization of African Unity (OAU), African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).  She was Ghana’s representative on the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on the Drafting of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child in 1991, and the OAU’s Committee of Experts on the Lockerbie Case.  She was also a member of the Advisory Panel of the International Bar Association for the drafting of a Code of Professional Conduct for Defence Counsel appearing before the International Criminal Court.

B. Lynn Pascoe (US)
Mr. Pascoe was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs in 2007-2011.  Prior to his UN service, Mr. Pascoe was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and Malaysia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. State Department, as well as U.S. Special Negotiator for Regional Conflicts in the former Soviet Union. In an almost forty-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Mr. Pascoe also held positions on the Soviet and China desks and has been posted to Moscow, Hong Kong and Bangkok, as well as to Beijing twice and to Kuala Lumpur. He speaks mandarin Chinese.

Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto (Brazil)
Lieutenant General Floriano served as Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), from 2009 to 2010.  Joining the Brazilian Army in 1973, he graduated as an infantry officer in 1976 and subsequently held a number of senior command and staff positions, including Command of the twelfth Infantry Brigade (Air Assault), Command of the second Army Division and Head of the Brazilian Army Staff’s Fifth Sub-Directorate (International Matters).  In 2004, when Brazil sent its first contingent to MINUSTAH, he was appointed as the Brigade’s Operations Officer, as a colonel. 

Wang Xuexian (China)
Mr. Wang serves on the Executive Board of the United Nations Association of China.  Mr. Wang has had a long diplomatic career, including serving as Ambassador to South Africa and, before, that, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Throughout his career, he has held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and in embassies or consulates in the United States, Malaysia, and United Kingdom.