Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been taken back to the work force after being appointed into the United Nations (UN) High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation along with 17 other current and former global leaders. The Secretary-General, Antonio Gutierrez had in September announced the establishment of the board to provide him with advice on mediation initiatives and back specific mediation efforts around the world.
The Board is composed of 18 current and former global leaders, senior officials and renowned experts who bring together an unparalleled range of experience, skills, knowledge and contacts. The Secretary-General explained that the establishment of the Board is part of the “surge in diplomacy for peace” he has consistently advocated, and gives due priority to the prevention and mediation work of the United Nations.
The Board is expected to allow the UN to work more effectively with regional organizations, non-governmental groups and others involved in mediation around the world. In the announcement of the appointments, the world body described Obasanjo as one of the most distinguished elder statesmen of Africa.
It added: “He served as President of the Republic of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, and before that as the 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 UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Great Lakes region.”
Also appointed into the board are President Michelle Bachelet (Chile) who is serving her second non-consecutive term as president; Radhika Coomaraswamy (Sri Lanka); a 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee (Liberia); Jean-Marie Guéhenno (France), former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen (Finland); David Harland (New Zealand), Noeleen Heyzer (Singapore), and Nasser Judeh (Jordan).
Others are Ramtane Lamamra (Algeria), Graça Machel (Mozambique), Asha-Rose Migiro (Tanzania), Raden Mohammad and Marty Muliana Natalegawa (Indonesia). Also appointed into the board are Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan), Michèle Pierre-Louis (Haiti), José Manuel Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste), Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala) and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (United Kingdom).