Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen is to become the new United Nations Special Envoy for Syria. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote in a letter to the UN Security Council that he wanted to appoint Pedersen as successor to the outgoing Syrian envoy, Staffan de Mistura.
He has held extensive consultations with, among others, the Syrian government, Guterres wrote. In the Syrian conflict, Pedersen should enable a „credible political solution“ that would meet the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people.
Pedersen is currently Norway’s ambassador to China and has been the representative of the Scandinavian country to the UN in the past.
De Mistura had announced his resignation in mid-October after more than four years of unsuccessful mediation efforts in the Syrian conflict. He will give up his post at the end of November. Before de Mistura, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and ex-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had sought in vain for a way out of the bloody conflict as Syria special envoy.
There has been civil war in Syria since 2011. More than 360,000 people were killed in the conflict, millions of Syrians were forced to flee.