Lakhdar Brahimi, for his work in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan
Born in Algeria in 1934, he studied law and political science in Algeria and France. During the Algerian War of Independence (1956-1962), he was a representative of the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) in Southeast Asia. At twenty-two, he represented the Algerian revolution in Jakarta. At the time, Indonesia’s President was Sukarno, one of the fathers of non-alignment and the struggle against colonialism.
From 1963 to 1970, Lakhdar Brahimi was the Permanent Representative to the League of Arab States in Cairo. Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1971 to 1979, he then became the Diplomatic Advisor to the President of Algeria from 1982 to 1984 in Egypt and Sudan. Afterwards, he became Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League between 1984 and 1991.
In 1989 as Special Envoy of the Tripartite Committee of the Arab League in Lebanon, Brahimi successful negotiated the agreement that ended seventeen years of civil war: the Taif Agreement.
Algeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1991 to 1993, he was the UN Conference Rapporteur on Environment and Development in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1993, Lakhdar Brahimi embarked upon his second career in the UN, following Boutros Boutros Ghali’s proposal to make him his “special representative”. He was sent first to South Africa, where he led the United Nations’ Observer Mission from 1993 until Nelson Mandela’s election to power in 1994. Then he was sent to Haiti from 1994 to 1996. The last year, he was sent on UN missions for open or latent conflicts in Nigeria, Cameroon, Burundi, and Sudan. Finally, he was sent to Afghanistan from 1997 to 1999 and again in 2001. He led the panel that wrote the “Brahimi Report” on UN peacekeeping operations in 2000.
He is one of “The Elders”, a group of international leaders established in the early 21st century to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.
The Brahimi Report
Published in August 2000 and presented at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, the “Brahimi report” is a document that recognizes the UN’s political, administrative, and financial limits in crisis management. It submitted a number of proposals to improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations.
The report stresses the importance of strengthening capacity for policy analysis and technical support for crisis prevention. This requires greater resources to be allocated to the General Secretariat and a reform of the intervention methods of peacekeeping, by inserting disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs into the original operations’ budget and giving more budgetary freedom to the head of UN Peacekeeping operations.
The report recommends the establishment of a more ambitious doctrine of intervention. To do so, the report continues, it is necessary for UN peacekeeping forces to be able to defend themselves, defend the other components of the intervention, and to defend the UN mandate. The report also recognizes the need to strengthen information-gathering capabilities.
Finally, the report confronts member States with their responsibilities so that the rapid deployment of contingents provided by these same States can be carried out within thirty days of the adoption of a Security Council resolution, or 90 days for a complex mission. Each member State has full decision power on the troops it contributes to the UN.
Most of these proposals were included in the Security Council’s resolution 1327, adopted November 13, 2000.
The Work of Lakdhar Brahimi in Conflict Prevention
In 1982, Lakhdar Brahimi accepts his first political reconciliation assignment., given to him by the Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid, and it consisted of reconciling Yasser Arafat and the Syrian President Hafez El-Assad, the day after the israeli invasion of Lebanon. s
Lakhdar Brahimi traveled to Iraq for the first time in 1997 during the cyclical crises between Baghdad and UN inspectors. At the request of Kofi Annan, he led a delegation to open dialogue between the UN and Baghdad.
|In Afghanistan :
Starting in 1997 Lakhdar Brahimi was the UN special representative for Afghanistan. However, he resigned in 1999, frustrated by the UN’s inability to manage the conflict between the Taliban and other warring factions.