American University of Beirut

Lakhdar Brahimi President's Speech

President Waterbury:

Zaire, South Africa, Yemen, Haiti, Nigeria, Cameroon, Burundi, the Sudan, Afghanistan these are merely some of the far-flung places in which Lakhdar Brahimi has been the special envoy of the UN secretary general. They have all been trouble spots, wracked by war and human suffering. All Lebanese will remember him as the under-secretary general of the Arab League of States who, for seven years, patiently and determinedly worked with the parties to the Lebanese conflict to bring about an end to the fighting and a new modus vivendi, set forth in the Taif Accords.

At the beginning of the Algerian struggle against French domination, a very young Lakhdar Brahimi represented the FLN in Jakarta, Indonesia. After Algerian independence in 1962, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 1963 to 1970 he served as Algeria'​s ambassador to Egypt and the Sudan and as Algeria?s permanent representative to the Arab League of States. He followed as ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1971 to 1979. After his year as under secretary general of the Arab League of States, he became Algeria?s minister of foreign affairs from 1991 to 1993. Over the last ten years he has been the special representative of the UN secretary general in all the places mentioned above.

We honor Lakhdar Brahimi as a peacemaker. He is unafraid of the turmoil and violence into which he is repeatedly thrust. He keeps his profile low the better to build his credibility with his interlocutors in various hotspots. He brings to each situation strategic and negotiating skills which are truly unrivaled. If Lakhdar Brahimi could find the time, he could write what would surely become the peacemakers sacred text. We at AUB are proud that Lakhdar Brahimi, for a number of years, has been a member of our International Advisory Board.

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