UN Under-Secretary-General Lakhdar Brahimi spoke at the National Press Club on Tuesday at a lunch sponsored by the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. and the United Nations Foundation. Mr. Brahimi, the former UN special envoy to Afghanistan, has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to be his new Special Advisor on Peace and Security.
“The recent request by the United States for assistance and participation by the United Nations in Iraqi political and humanitarian affairs illuminates for us once again the experience and centrality of the United Nations. Individuals like Lakhdar Brahimi exemplify the expertise contained in the UN,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation.
“What the United Nations bringsto the table is the fact that it doesn’t belong to anybody, that is has no agenda. When we go somewhere, we are there to help the people of that place,” said Under-Secretary-General Brahimi.
A former Algerian foreign minister, Under-Secretary-General Brahimi played a pivotal role in the recent adoption of a constitution by the loya jirga as well as the Bonn Accords in December 2001 that laid the groundwork for a transition to democratic self-governance in Afghanistan.
“He is a unique human being. He is one of the legends of the United Nations, and we are delighted that he came down. People in Washington and people everywhere need to hear his voice,” said Bill Luers, President of the United Nations Association of the U.S.A.
The United Nations Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist R.E. Turner’s historic gift to support UN causes. The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through its grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.