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Posted by AssureHaddon from ( on Monday, September 01, 2003 at 1:27PM :

In Reply to: Iraq: The UN votes important resolution posted by AssureHaddon from ( on Monday, September 01, 2003 at 1:19PM :

Sergio Vieira de Mello, 55, of the U.N., Dies

ergio Vieira de Mello, the top United Nations official in Iraq and the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, who had served the organization in trouble spots around the globe, died yesterday from injuries received in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was 55.

"The loss of Sergio Vieira de Mello is a bitter blow for the United Nations and for me personally," Secretary General Kofi Annan said yesterday. "I can think of no one we could less afford to spare."

On May 29, Mr. Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian citizen, was picked by Mr. Annan to be his special representative in Iraq for four months. The choice was widely seen as a tribute to Mr. Vieira de Mello's exceptional diplomatic skills and charm, honed on a succession of difficult assignments that clearly qualified him for the task of helping rebuild Iraq.

A rare international diplomat who relished risky negotiations as well as grinding work in the field, Mr. Vieira de Mello was best known for leading the United Nations Transitional Administration that prepared East Timor for full independence after it broke from Indonesia.

Earlier he served as the chief United Nations official in Kosovo after United States bombing raids broke Serbian control of the province.

He was rewarded for these successful missions with his appointment in September 2002 as high commissioner for human rights. (He was on a leave of absence from that job when he was killed.)

His firm but elegant style contrasted with the more confrontational approach of his predecessor, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, and, officials say, improved relations with the Bush administration.

Indeed, with his credentials as a citizen of the developing world and his ease moving in some of the more rarefied political circles, he was frequently mentioned as a potential candidate to head the United Nations.

Announcing Mr. Vieira de Mello's appointment to the Baghdad post, Mr. Annan acknowledged his exceptional experience in rebuilding war-devastated societies, saying: "No one has more experience in this area than Sergio Vieira de Mello. I need someone who can hit the ground running."

In Baghdad, Mr. Vieira de Mello faced the exceptionally difficult task of coordinating the United Nations' efforts to rebuild civil authority and promote humanitarian relief with a United States occupying force reluctant to cede authority to the United Nations.

When the Security Council agreed last May to lift economic sanctions against Iraq and authorize the United States and Britain to administer the country until a democratic government was established, it also insisted on giving the United Nations a role in the country's postwar evolution.

From the moment he arrived, Mr. Vieira de Mello insisted his priority was to protect the interests of the Iraqi people during the United States-led occupation.

"I have been sent here with a mandate to assist the Iraqi people and those responsible for the administration of this land to achieve freedom, the possibility of managing their own destiny and determining their own future," he said shortly after he arrived in Iraq.

He also sympathized with the resentment of Iraqis at having foreign troops on their soil, telling a Brazilian newspaper in an interview published Monday: "It is traumatic. It must be one of the most humiliating periods in their history. Who would like to see their country occupied. I would not like to see foreign tanks in Copacabana." He was referring to the famous beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Yet in the short time that he was in Baghdad, Mr. Vieira de Mello established a satisfactory relationship with L. Paul Bremer III, the top United States administrator there, and he told friends he was confident they would be able to work constructively together.

Sergio Vieira de Mello was born on March 15, 1948, in Rio de Janeiro. He studied in Brazil and France, where he was awarded two doctorates from the University of Paris, becoming fluent in English, French and Spanish as well as Portuguese.

He joined the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva in 1969, becoming assistant high commissioner in 1996. He served in Bangladesh as it won independence in 1971 and in Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish invasion.

He spent three years in charge of refugees in Mozambique during the civil war that followed its independence from Portugal in 1975. He was political adviser to the United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon from 1981 to 1983.

The 1990's found him dealing with refugees and other humanitarian problems in Cambodia, in the former Yugoslavia as it broke apart in a series of wars, and in the Great Lakes region of Africa torn by civil wars.

Mr. Vieira de Mello is survived by his wife, Annie; and their two sons, Adrien and Laurent.

: Iraq: The UN votes important resolution

: of Paul Manzo ( )

: 26/08/2003
: After the dismissal of 24 hours sped up from the USA, the resolution would have today to be voted to the UN that strengthens the protection of the staff of the humanitarian agencies in Iraq
: After the dismissal of 24 hours sped up from the United States, the resolution would have today to be voted to the Security Council of the United Nations that strengthens the protection of the staff of the humanitarian agencies in Iraq. The administration American has contested the text, put to point from Mexico, from the moment that contains a reference to international the penal Court, whose dealt institutive e' be ratified from Washington: in the document it is said in fact that the attacks against the operating humanitarians Yesterday represent a crime of war based on the charter of the Cpi. evening, the secretary of State American Colin Powell has discussed with the Mexican colleague Luis Ernesto Derbez of the possibilita' to modify the rough draft of the resolution. ' ' We appreciate the necessita' very protect the operating humanitarians and the necessita' of giving they it possibilita' to make their job - it has commented the megaphone of the department of State Philip T. Reeker - But are taken care for the used language, in particular for the reference to international the penal Court ' '. Mexico had made circular its plan of resolution supported from France, Germany, Russia, Bulgaria and Syria, gia' in opens them slid and it has resumed it the week slid, after the attack to quartier general of the UN to Baghdad, cost the life to 23 persons.

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-- AssureHaddon
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