Lakhdar Brahimi


Lakhdar Brahimi was foreign minister of Algeria (1991-93) and prior to that ambassador to the UK (1971-79). He mediated the end of the Civil War in Lebanon (1988-91) and headed UN Missions in South Africa, Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq.

In between his Afghanistan assignments, he served as Under Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Support of the Secretary-General’s Preventive and Peacemaking Efforts. He chaired an independent panel established by Secretary-General Annan to review United Nations Peace Operations. The report was endorsed by the “Millennium Summit” held in September 2000 and became known as the “Brahimi Report”. It assessed the shortcomings of the existing system of peacekeeping and made specific recommendations for change, focusing on politics, strategy and operational as well as organisational areas of need.

In January 2004, he left Kabul and was appointed Special Adviser to the Secretary-General. From February to June 2004, he was sent to Baghdad to help form a new Government for Iraq, which was supposed to herald the return of national sovereignty after the invasion and occupation of the country by the United States and a number of its allies.

He recently spent two years (2006-2008) at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, NJ, USA. He is also W.D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University. He is presently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. He is a member of “The Elders”, a small group of Elder Statesmen and Public Figures created in 2007 at the initiative of President Nelson Mandela and Chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Brahimi was born in 1934 and educated in Algeria and France, and is fluent in Arabic, English and French. He has basic knowledge of Indonesian. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon; Oxford University, England; The University of Nice, France and the University of Bologna, Italy. He is married with three children and six grand children.