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Lakhdar Brahimi (Arabic: الأخضر الإبراهيمي‎, al-Akhḍar al-Ibrāhīmī) (born January 1, 1934 in Algeria) was a veteran United Nations envoy and advisor. He retired from his duties at the end of 2005. Brahimi is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the first global initiative to focus specifically on the link between exclusion, poverty and law. He is also a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, an organization which works to promote good governance around the world.[1]

He was the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan and Iraq. Before his appointment in 2001 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he had served the U.N. as special representative to Haiti and to South Africa. Before coming to the U.N., Brahimi, who represented the National Liberation Front in Jakarta during Algeria's 1956–1961 independence movement, was an Arab League official (1984-1991) and the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1991 until 1993. Mr. Brahimi was educated in Algeria and France (law and political science), and is fluent in Arabic, English and French. Brahimi is married with three children. His daughter, Reem (also spelled Rym), who was a CNN Correspondent in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War, is married to Prince Ali of Jordan. Lakhdar Brahimi was also chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which produced the influential Brahimi Report [2].

On a visit to Baghdad in April 2004 to help determine how and when Iraqi elections can be held, he said that the recent violence threatens to delay Iraqi national assembly elections—the national assembly is to pick the president and write a constitution.

"The elections scheduled to take place in January 2005 are the most important milestone," Mr. Brahimi said. "There is no substitute for the legitimacy that comes from free and fair elections." (Witter, 2004)

Brahimi suggested that the Iraq Interim Governing Council should be dissolved, and that most of its members should not have any role in the new government. Though the council was in fact dissolved early, some of its members will have major roles in the new government. The president, one of the two vice-presidents, and the prime minister are all from the council. Most prominently, his criticism of Ahmed Chalabi has led to Chalabi's claim that Brahimi is an Arab nationalist who should have no role in determining the future of Iraq. At the same time, close allies of Chalabi have been pushing claims that various world leaders and the UN took bribes from Saddam Hussein under the Oil for Food program.

In May 2004 Brahimi was supposed to play a large advisory role in the appointment of candidates, which ended up selecting as Iraq's new interim President and Prime Minister: Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer and Iyad Allawi, respectively. However, Brahimi expressed serious disappointment and frustration about his role. "Bremer is the dictator of Iraq, He has the money. He has the signature. ... I will not say who was my first choice, and who was not my first choice ... I will remind you that the Americans are governing this country." According to a person who spoke with him, "He was very disappointed, very frustrated," al Dulame said. "I asked him why he didn't say that publicly (and) he said, `I am the U.N. envoy to Iraq, how can I admit to failure?'"[1] Brahimi announced his resignation, resulting from "great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq", at the UN in New York on 12. June. [3]

On February 5, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon appointed Brahimi to lead a panel investigation on United Nations staff security in the wake of the December 11, 2007 Algiers bombings.[2]

He was one of the founder of the french language of the Journal of Palestine Studies called La revue d'étude palestinienne.

References

  1. ^ Lasseter, Tom. UN's Brahimi: Bremer the 'Dictator of Iraq' in Shaping Iraqi Government, June 3, 2004. Accessed June 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Algerian blasts suspects arrested, BBC News, February 6, 2008. Accessed June 15, 2008.

External links

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