Norwegian diplomat appointed UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process

Tor WenneslandPhoto: Guri Solberg / UD / NTB
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“I am pleased that the UN Secretary-General has given one of our most experienced diplomats, Tor Wennesland, the task of leading and coordinating UN efforts relating to the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict has been high on the UN General Assembly and the Security Council’s agenda since the state of Israel was established in 1948. 

One of the key tasks of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process is to brief the Security Council. 

The special coordinator is the personal representative of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and the Secretary-General’s envoy in the Middle East Quartet.

Based in Jerusalem

Wennesland will be based at the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) in Jerusalem. 

The UNSCO also has offices in Ramallah and Gaza.

“With his many years of experience from the region and his extensive contact network, Mr. Wennesland is in a good position to make a valuable contribution to the global community’s efforts to achieve a two-state solution to the conflict. 

“I look forward to continuing our excellent cooperation with him when Norway becomes a member of the UN Security Council on January 1,” Eriksen Søreide said.

Tor Wennesland – background 

Tor Wennesland is Norway’s Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, including the responsibility for Norway’s chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for Palestine. 

He has extensive experience from the Middle East going back to 1994 when he was an advisor on the Middle East Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the process leading to the Oslo II Agreement. 

He worked for Quartet Representative Tony Blair in 2006-2007. Wennesland was Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007-2011 and Norway’s Ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012-2015. 

From 1993-1995, Wennesland was the Secretary-General of the European Movement of Norway.

Wennesland will succeed Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria as Special Coordinator. 

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Norway Today

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