United Nations

H. E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Jan Eliasson was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He took office as Deputy Secretary-General on 1 July 2012.

From 2007 – 2008, Mr. Eliasson was the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur. Prior to this, Jan Eliasson served as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the US from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006.

Mr. Eliasson served from 1994 to 2000 as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the UN in New York 1988-92, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.

Mr. Eliasson was the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He took initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian action. 1980-1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 1993-94 Mr. Eliasson served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He has been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University in Sweden, lecturing on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform. Mr. Eliasson has had diplomatic postings in New York (twice) Paris, Bonn, Washington (twice) and Harare, where he opened the first Swedish Embassy in 1980.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson also served as Chair of Water Aid/Sweden and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr. Eliasson graduated from the Swedish Naval Academy in 1962 and earned a Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1965

Mr. Eliasson was born on 17 September 1940 in Goteborg, Sweden. He is married with 3 children.

H.E. Mr. Álvaro de Soto

Mr. de Soto’s distinguished career includes 25 years with the United Nations, where he worked extensively on issues in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. He first joined the United Nations in 1982 as Special

Assistant to Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. In 1990, as the Secretary-General’s representative, he conducted successful peace negotiations between the government of El Salvador and the FMLN, which culminated in the 1992 Peace Accord.

Mr. de Soto served as Senior Political Advisor to UN Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali from 1992 through 1994. In 1995, he became Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs at the United Nations, and served as UN Special Envoy for Myanmar from 1995 to 1999. He mediated the 1999-2004 negotiations on Cyprus, which led to parallel referendums on the comprehensive UN settlement plan. From 2003 to 2005, de Soto was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Western Sahara. He then served as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Envoy to the Middle East Quartet, and Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General to the PLO and the Palestinian Authority from 2005 to 2007.

Since 2011, Mr. de Soto has led a masters seminar on post-Cold War conflict resolution at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po, in Paris. He has published a number of articles and book chapters, including the recent “Diplomacy and Mediation” for Wiley-Blackwell’s 2014 Handbook on Global Security Policy. Mr. de Soto also hosts “Conversations with Alvaro de Soto,” a series of public interviews with senior mediators and negotiators at Columbia University.

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