Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been appointed to an 18-man UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
In a press release by the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez, the board was described as a part of the “surge in diplomacy for peace” Gutierrez has consistently advocated.
The board is said to be expected to allow the UN work more effectively with regionaly organizations, non-governmental groups and others involved in mediation around the world.
Obasanjo, in the release, was described as “one of the most distinguished elder statesmen of Africa.” Gutierrez wrote:
He served as President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, and before that as Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces from 1976 to 1979. Over his long career, Mr. Obasanjo has been involved in numerous international mediation efforts, including in Angola, Burundi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa. In 2008 he was appointed the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Great Lakes Region.
Others on the board are President Michelle Bachelet (Chile), Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Jean-Marie Guéhenno (France), Tarja Halonen (Finland), David Harland (New Zealand), Noeleen Heyzer (Singapore), and Nasser Judeh (Jordan).
Ramtane Lamamra (Algeria), Graça Machel (Mozambique), Asha-Rose Migiro (Tanzania), Raden Mohammad and Marty Muliana Natalegawa (Indonesia), Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan), Michèle Pierre-Louis (Haiti), José Manuel Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste), Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (United Kingdom) are also on the board.