Staffan de Mistura joins Interpeace’s Governing Board – A lifetime dedicated to building peace

We are pleased to announce Interpeace’s incoming-Governing Board member, Staffan de Mistura, Former Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.

L' Interpeace Governing Board is the highest decision-making body of the organization and plays a key role in defining Interpeace’s overall strategy. Chaired by Monica McWilliams, the Governing Board is made up of prominent individuals from the government, international and business sectors. De Mistura’s 40-year career in various United Nations agencies and his experience working in many of the most conflict-affected regions of the world will be a great asset to the organization. He will officially join the Governing Board in June 2019.

“We are most grateful to be able to benefit from his deep experience and wisdom”, expressed the President of Interpeace, Scott M. Weber.

Over four decades of experience in the United Nations

Staffan de Mistura is a long-serving Italian-Swedish diplomat and former member of the Italian government. In July 2014, Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, appointed De Mistura as the UN Special Envoy for Syria. His previous UN posts included, UN envoy in Afghanistan in 2010-2011 and in Iraq in 2007-2009. He was also the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon in 2001-2004.

De Mistura began his UN career in 1971 as a World Food Programme project officer in Sudan. Throughout the years, he was given special humanitarian assignments in Dubrovnik, Sarajevo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Rwanda. He also served as the Director of the UN Information Centre in Rome, Director of Fundraising and External Relations of the UN Office of the Coordinator for Afghanistan and held a variety of senior posts with Unicef.

A lifetime dedicated to building peace

His career has been marked by a number of high-profile roles as an international mediator seeking to build understanding and end war. Under challenging conditions, Staffan de Mistura has promoted political dialogue, has been involved in overseeing elections and has led development and humanitarian-assistance. His leadership, determination and humanity make him an example of diplomacy.

In 2017, Staffan de Mistura participated in the Stockholm Peace Talks, an event held at the Swedish Parliament, organized by Interpeace in collaboration with the Stockholm City Council. De Mistura shared his experience working as a UN official at a refugee camp in the Balkans in 1999. In his message, he stated: “A hug makes a big difference. It doesn’t need to be physical, it can also be words, a sign of hope. People need to feel it when they are in a siege, when they are abandoned.”

In this story he illustrated the importance of dialogue, local ownership and trust, as key factors to build sustainable peace – these are values that guide Interpeace’s peacebuilding principles. We look forward to joining forces with Staffan de Mistura and work together to prevent violence and transform conflict in the most volatile regions of the world.

Staffan De Mistura at the Stockholm Peace Talks on March 21, 2017.

For more information, contact -

Alexandre Munafò
Head of Strategic Partnerships and Communications
T +41 22 404 59 21
M +41 79 272 73 22
F +41 22 404 59 01