Lakhdar Brahimi

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Lakhdar Brahimi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
5 June 1991 – 3 February 1993
Prime MinisterSid Ahmed Ghozali
Belaid Abdessalam
Preceded bySid Ahmed Ghozali
Succeeded byRedha Malek
United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria
In office
1 September 2012 – 31 May 2014
Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon (UN)
Nabil Elaraby (AL)
Preceded byKofi Annan
Succeeded byStaffan de Mistura
Personal details
Born (1934-01-01) 1 January 1934 (age 89)
El Azizia, French Algeria
Political partyNational Liberation Front
ChildrenSalah Brahimi, Princess Rym al-Ali, Salem Brahimi
RelativesPrince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan (son-in-law)
Alma materUniversity of Algiers

Lakhdar Brahimi (Algerian pronunciation: [læxdˤɑr bræhiːmi]; Arabic: الأخضر الإبراهيمي; al-Akhḍar al-Ibrāhīmi; born 1 January 1934) is an Algerian United Nations diplomat who served as the United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria until 14 May 2014.[1] He was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria from 1991 to 1993. He served as chairman of the United Nations Panel on United Nations Peace Operations in 2000. Its highly influential report "Report of the Panel on United Nations Peacekeeping" is known as "The Brahimi Report".[2]

He is also a member of The Elders, a group of world leaders working for global peace.[3] Brahimi is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the first global initiative to focus specifically on the link between exclusion, poverty and law. He has also been a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation since 2008, an organization which works to promote good governance around the world. He is currently a distinguished senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a governing board member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.[4] He relinquished his post as UN Special Envoy to Syria on 31 May 2014.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Brahimi was born in 1934 in El Azizia near Tablat, Algeria,[6] about 60 km south of Algiers. He was educated in Algeria and in France where he studied law and political science. He joined the campaign for independence in 1956.[6] Based in Jakarta for five years, he was the representative of the National Liberation Front (Algeria) in South East Asia, touring the region in search of diplomatic support.[7]


Brahimi (right) as the Algerian Ambassador to Egypt, shaking hands with Gamal Abdel Nasser, the Egyptian President, after presenting his credentials to the president (Cairo, April 1963).
Brahimi (left) as United Nations special mission to Afghanistan, visit President Mohammad Khatami (Tehran, August 4, 2003).

Brahimi was the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan and Iraq. Before his appointment in 2001 by the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, he had served the U.N. as special representative to Haiti where he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. Brahimi facilitated the first American UN Force Commander since their involvement in the Korean War. Before coming to the U.N., Brahimi, who represented the National Liberation Front in Tunis during Algeria's independence movement in 1956–1961, was an Arab League official (1984–1991) and the Algerian Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1991 until 1993. Brahimi was also chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, which produced the influential Brahimi Report.

On a visit to Baghdad in April 2004 to help determine how and when Iraqi elections can be held, he said that the recent violence threatened to delay Iraqi national assembly elections—the national assembly is to pick the president and write a constitution.

"The elections scheduled to take place in January 2005 are the most important milestone," Brahimi said. "There is no substitute for the legitimacy that comes from free and fair elections." (Witter, 2004)

Brahimi suggested that the Iraq Interim Governing Council should be dissolved, and that most of its members should not have any role in the new government. Though the council was in fact dissolved early, some of its members did have major roles in the ensuing government. The president, one of the two vice-presidents, and the prime minister in the following government all served on the council. Most prominently, Brahimi's criticism of Ahmed Chalabi has led to Chalabi's claim that Brahimi is an Arab nationalist who should have no role in determining the future of Iraq. At the same time, close allies of Chalabi have been pushing claims that various world leaders and the UN took bribes from Saddam Hussein under the Oil for Food program.

In May 2004, Brahimi was supposed to play a large advisory role in the appointment of candidates, which ended up selecting as Iraq's new interim President and Prime Minister: Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer and Iyad Allawi, respectively. However, Brahimi expressed serious disappointment and frustration about his role. "Bremer is the dictator of Iraq, He has the money. He has the signature. ... I will not say who was my first choice, and who was not my first choice ... I will remind you that the Americans are governing this country." According to a person who spoke with him, "He was very disappointed, very frustrated," al Dulame said. "I asked him why he didn't say that publicly (and) he said, 'I am the U.N. envoy to Iraq, how can I admit to failure?'"[8] Brahimi announced his resignation, resulting from "great difficulties and frustration experienced during his assignment in Iraq", at the UN in New York on 12 June.[9] While serving as the United Nations envoy to Iraq, he described Israel's policy towards the Palestinians as "the big poison in the region".[10]

On 5 February 2008, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, appointed Brahimi to lead a panel investigation on United Nations staff security in the wake of the Algiers bombings of 11 December 2007.[11] He was one of the founders of the French language Journal of Palestine Studies called La revue d'étude palestinienne.

On 17 August 2012, Brahimi was appointed by the United Nations as the new peace envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan.[12][13]

LaKhdar Brahimi with John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov (Geneva, September 13, 2013).

On 13 May 2014, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon announced that Brahimi would resign as the special envoy to Syria on 31 May 2014.[5]

Brahimi addressed a police academy in December 2016, expressing his wish that Algeria and Morocco should “leave the Sahara issue aside in an effort to build a communal economy based on exchange.” His statement caused shockwaves in Algeria.[14]

In March 2019, he is mandated by Abdelaziz Bouteflika to preside over the national conference that is to propose a new constitution and set the date of the presidential election.[15]

Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter (New York, July 24, 2013).

Career history[edit]

Lakhdar Brahimi with Joe Biden (Munich, 7 February 2013)

Honours and awards[edit]



Lakhdar Brahimi with Desmond Tutu, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Henry Bellingham, Baron Bellingham (London, 10 February 2011).

Honorary degrees[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Lakhdar Brahimi (Amsterdam, 8 December 2014).

Brahimi is fluent in Arabic, French and English.[6]

He is married to Mila Bacic Brahimi, and has three children: Salah Brahimi is the CEO of Grey Matter International, a consultant company, located in Washington, DC, where he lives with his wife, Dr. Doaa Taha, and his two children; Princess Rym al-Ali, who was a CNN correspondent in Baghdad during the 2003 Iraq War, is married to Prince Ali bin Hussein. She lives in Amman, Jordan, with her husband and two children, Jalila and Abdullah ibn Ali; and Salem Brahimi, who lives in Paris, France, just a block away from his parents, with his wife Lawrence Brahimi, and his two children.[citation needed]

Published works[edit]

  • Afghanistan: Negotiating Peace, New York, The Century Foundation Press, 2012.
  • Arab–Israeli conflict (collectif work), Beirut, American University of Beirut, 2010.
  • Guerres d'Aujourd'hui : Pourquoi ces conflits ? Peut on les résoudre ? (collectif work), Paris, Delavilla, 2008.
  • Étude d'ensemble de toute la question des opérations de maintien de la paix sous tous leurs aspects, New York, Nations Unis, 2003.
  • Rapport du Groupe d'étude sur les opérations de paix de l'ONU, New York, Nations Unis, 2000.


  1. ^ New York Times (14 May 2014). "U.N. Mediator on Syria Quits". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  2. ^ William J. Durch, et al. The Brahimi report and the future of UN peace operations. Stimson Center., 2003. online
  3. ^ "Algeria's Brahimi could replace Annan". Australian Associated Press. 10 August 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ "SIPRI Governing Board". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b "UN Special Representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi resigns". Biharprabha. Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Profile: Lakhdar Brahimi". BBC. 3 September 2012.
  7. ^ Egreteau, Renaud (2019). "La Birmanie, la France et la " question algérienne "". 20 & 21. Revue d'histoire (in French) (142): 47–59. doi:10.3917/vin.142.0047. ISSN 0294-1759. S2CID 159393481.
  8. ^ Lasseter, Tom. UN's Brahimi: Bremer the 'Dictator of Iraq' in Shaping Iraqi Government Archived 14 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 3 June 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  9. ^ Shlomo Shamir (13 June 2004). "Brahimi quits post as UN envoy in Iraq". Haaretz. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  10. ^ UN envoy condemns Israeli policy BBC News, 23 April 2004
  11. ^ Algerian blasts suspects arrested, BBC News, 6 February 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  12. ^ Gladstone, Rick (17 August 2012). "Veteran Algerian Statesman to Succeed Annan as Special Syrian Envoy". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  13. ^ "UN: Algeria's Brahimi will replace Annan in Syria". Archived from the original on 4 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Lakhdar Brahimi Calls for Reopening Morocco-Algerian Borders".
  15. ^ "'Lakhdar Brahimi : "J'espère que le président de la conférence nationale sera plus compétent que moi"'".
  16. ^ "LAKHDAR BRAHIMI Special Adviser to the Secretary-General". UNITED NATIONS. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  17. ^ Ian Black, Middle East editor. "UN looking for Syria envoy as Brahimi prepares to quit after failed peace talks". The Guardian. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  18. ^ "Prix Émir Abdelkader du vivre ensemble : Lakhdar Brahimi, Federico Mayor et Raymond Chrétien lauréats". 24 September 2016.
  19. ^ "Video on the 2010 Conflict Prevention Prize ceremony". 6 January 2011.
  20. ^ "Lakhdar Brahimi n'a servi d'autre cause que celle de la paix, déclare le secrétaire général à l'occasion d'une cérémonie de remise de distinction à Munich". 15 July 2004.
  21. ^ "Lakhder Brahimi". 2017.
  22. ^ "L'université d'Oran 1 Ahmed Ben Bella décerne le doctorat honoris causa à Lakhdar Brahimi". 24 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Rien ne me destinait à la diplomatie", Lakhdar Brahimi, docteur honoris causa de Sciences Po". 27 January 2016.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria
Succeeded by