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The humanitarian ‘fig leaf” filled the gap that political and military action failed for so long to address.” Sergio, who served in various senior UN capacities in the Balkans, did much to reinforce and promote the spirit of dialogue, understanding reconciliation and respect for human rights not only in the Balkans but wherever his illustrious career and exemplary life carried him. Vieira de Mello received a number of posthumous awards and honours, chief of which was the legion d'honneur, France's highest honor, given to his widown and two sons in Geneva, he was also awarded the Order of Rio Branco, the highest honor from the Government of Brazil to be given to a citizen, the Pedro Ernesto Medal, the highest honor in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, in 2003. This was followed shortly afterwards by the appointment of Yasushi Akashi as the UN Secretary-General’s Representative for Cambodia and the launching of UNTAC. In 1980, the new Emergency Unit under Nicholas Morris began to function. 2. For the first time this highly political body started to become engaged in burning humanitarian issues of the time. The organization turned to Sergio to craft the right strategies and shape the appropriate diplomatic finesse to steer clear of troubled waters while effectively carrying out its mandate to refugees. John Horekens, then Director of Europe Bureau, worked closely with Sergio in the planning and preparation of the CIS Conference. • Conference on Refugees and Population Movements in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Fate would not allow him to return and see the fruits of his vision and work. On 22nd July Sergio, for the first time since taking over his position in Baghdad, addressed the UN Security Council in New York. The Resolution gives for the first time, a special recognition to all humanitarian and United Nations and associated personnel who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of duty and urges all Member States, entities of the United Nations within existing resources, as well as the other International Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations to observe it annually in an appropriate way. Kofi Asomani served as Chief of his old Career Development and Training Unit. Several governments led by the French responded quickly by contributing troops to MONUC. 7. Several examples of refugees stuck in legal limbo, ironically known as “Palestinisation”, could be cited. No one has more experience in this area than Sergio Vieira de Mello, and I think for us to really get organized and become operational and effective immediately, I needed someone who can hit the ground running and help us set up the operation at its early stages.”. He was supported by a dedicated team of experienced UNHCR staff and a new generation of talented young men and women including Sergio who later grew into the organization’s shakers and movers. Despite their very public four-year relationship, the UN refused to allow her to accompany the Brazilian-born envoy’s remains to Rio de Janeiro, where his funeral was held. Nevertheless, Sergio and General Callaghan saved no effort in working closely with all the parties in conflict, including PLO and Israel. His death is a terrible blow for humanity, for all those who strive for the entire international community.”. 180,000 Greek Cypriots fled to the south and 11,000 Turkish Cypriots were transferred to the northern third of the island occupied by Turkey. Impressed by the young man’s articulate demeanor but leary of the relevance of his philosophy qualification, he offered to give him a temporary job as a messenger during the ECOSOC session. Sergio’s short assignment in Bangladesh coming early in his formative years, was rewarding and the experience would prove invaluable to him in his later career. In January 1980, Sergio returned to Geneva to take up a post in the Personnel Division of UNHCR where he was responsible for shaping the careers of many international civil servants. True to his character, Sergio could not accept this affront to his integrity and pride. Tension grew between the two ethnic groups. At this pinnacle in the organization, in operational terms, Sergio was second only to the High Commissioner. An important achievement Sergio and the operational arm of UNHCR, represented by the Emergency Unit, realized was the refinement and strengthening of the effective system of rapid and timely deployment of staff in the field at the height of an emergency. Sergio Vieira de Mello then Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, was appointed Transitional Administrator by the Secretary General Kofi Annan to head the mission and was given the overall responsibility of this major UN operation. • Long brutal Civil War However, this rosy picture and UNHCR’s extensive successful field operations, which were exalting and appealing to the younger generation (Sergio’s contemporaries in UNHCR), was soon to give way to a deteriorating climate within the organization. Despite all the obstacles, which included the ongoing crisis of insecurity for refugees and internally displaced people, the organization discharged its responsibilities well. Hocke also played a key role in launching the CIREFCA process in Central America, to consolidate peace in the region by extending assistance not only to returnees but also, more broadly, to war-affected populations. In the five months of that assignment, Sergio was a witness to the birth of a new state—Bangladesh. He immediately appealed to the Secretary General and Donors to support his office. He later negotiated with the Americans and had the group of 385 combatants and their families resettled in the United States where they reunited with their extended families. The Sergio Vieira de Mello Center was founded by his mother, Gilda Vieira de Mello and Sergio's surviving spouse Carolina Larriera, also a former UN diplomat and Harvard trained professional, to honor his legacy, and works with a network of supporters out of Brazil, Sergio's country of nationality and Timor-Leste, the country he helped create – around the world.[36]. His refined diplomacy, power of persuasion and wide network of friends and allies were a real asset for the organization. In the end, the real beneficiaries of Sergio’s efforts were the displaced populations of Cyprus who were able to find new homes and care and rebuild their lives. 1. Sergio summed up their mission well by stating “This UN mission in Kosovo is probably the greatest challenge the UN has faced since the launching in the late 1940’s of the concept of peacekeeping. After completing his mission in former Yugoslavia, High Commissioner Ogata offered Sergio Vieira de Mello the position of Director of Policy Planning and Operations, which reported directly to her. On returning to Geneva in the summer of 1993, Sergio had to leave again in the autumn of the same year to Bosnia to take part in a peace-keeping operation. Sergio left Juba and Sudan in June 1973 after UNHCR had assisted the Regional Government of Southern Sudan to repatriate and reintegrate 200,000 returnees and 600,000 IDPs, paving the way for recovery, reconstruction and development. Jean-Pierre Hocke of Switzerland was elected High Commissioner and took over from Poul Hartling in early 1986.Prior to his appointment, he served as Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 1. UNIFIL relied on his disarming personality, magnetic charisma and power of persuasion to cultivate dialogue and achieve understanding and cooperation to discharge its delicate mission in the complex and hostile environment of Lebanon. The mission was structured on four pillars : Interim Civil Administration, Humanitarian Affairs, Reconstruction and Institution Building. In the mid and late Nineties, the worsening security situation for refugees and IDPs in the Great Lakes Region, the deteriorating relationship between the countries of the region and their negative attitude to UNHCR, placed the organization in a very difficult position politically. Again at the young age of 24, he actively participated in the repatriation and reintegration of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees who had fled the country during the civil war. From the very beginning, Sergio questioned the mandate of the Iraqi mission which he described as “hazy and ambiguous”. He arrived in Sarajevo in early October 1993 and started his assignment with some misgivings. As he handled the CPA, Sergio managed to gather all the protagonists, represented by the CIS countries and the international community around the same table to dialogue, reconcile differences and agree on a Plan of Action. The Final Project of the Man of Peace, TED Talks Samantha Power: Shaking hands with the devil, "Unsung Heroes of the Battlefields" by Laurent Vieira de Mello, president of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation –, Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sérgio_Vieira_de_Mello&oldid=980843692, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It was well known that Sergio had the habit of never leaving office without returning all the telephone calls of the day. From November 1999 until April 2002, Sergio was the de-facto Governor of East Timor. The Conference took place in Geneva in May 1996 and adopted a Plan of Action, the goal of which was to control and channel the influx of migration as a result of the break up of the ex-Soviet Republics. 1. Faithful to his esteem for field operations, he quickly paid special attention to the forty field offices. The mutiny by Sudan Defence Force (SDF) in August1955 in Torit, Equatoria Province, was the climax of the resentment of frustrated Southerners to what they perceived to be a total northern domination of all facets of life. The appointment of Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, as High Commissioner for Human Rights in the same month, raised the profile of the hitherto little known office by her often strongly-worded public statements.

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