UN SG appoints Wennesland coordinator for Middle East peace process
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Monday announced the appointment of Tor Wennesland of Norway as his new Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority.
In this capacity, Mr. Wennesland will be the Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Quartet.
Mr. Wennesland succeeds Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria to whom the Secretary‑General is grateful for his important contributions and leadership of the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
A career diplomat who joined the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983, Mr. Wennesland is currently Norway’s Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, which includes the responsibility for Norway’s chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for Palestine.
He has extensive experience in the Middle East going back to 1994 when he was Adviser on the Middle East Desk in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the process that led to the Oslo II Agreement.
He has also served as Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2011 and as Norwegian Ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012 to 2015.
He was the Aid Coordination Adviser to the Office of the Quartet Representative from 2007 to 2008 and was previously involved in the work to establish transboundary water agreements for the Euphrates River and the Jordan River Basin, and has been the Secretary‑General of the International Water Academy.
He has also been posted to the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the Norwegian Embassy in Dublin.
Mr. Wennesland earned a Master of Divinity from the Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo and holds degrees in philosophy and sociology from the University of Oslo.