Saturday, 16 January 2021

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Peacekeeping: a French man leading the Blue Helmets

Jean Pierre Lacroix, France, New head of UN Peacekeeping

In office since 2011, the French diplomat Hervé Ladsous will be replaced at the end of March by another French diplomate, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, at the head of one of the most important departments of the United Nations, peacekeeping operations.

Jean Pierre Lacroix, a graduate of the prestigious ENA, has many years of experience in international organizations, in particular with the United Nations.

In the course of his long career as a diplomat he was First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of France to the UN in New York from 1990 to 1993, Deputy Director of the United Nations and International Organizations at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2006; then Director of the Permanent Mission of France to the UN in New York between 2006 and 2009.

Presently he is the Director of the United Nations and of International Organizations, of Human Rights and Francophonie at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Nominated for one year, he will replace another French man, Hervé Ladsous, who directed the Department of Peacekeeping Operations for six years.

" I would like to express my gratitude for his service to the United Nations, his tireless efforts and dedication to peacekeeping, especially in modernizing capacities both to address multidimensional crisis and protect civilian populations”, said Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN.

This change takes place in the context of the nomination by the Secretary-General on the 14 February of a team that will be in charge of reforming the Department for Peacekeeping Operations. This team, headed by the Eritrean Tamrat Samuel, who has been with the UN since 1983, will work on the evolution of the strategy, the structure and the functioning of this department and will report its findings next June.

Since the departure of the Ghanain Kofi Annan, who went on to become the Secretary-General of the UN, several French nationals have been at the head of the Peacekeeping Department; Bernard Miyet (January 1997-October 2000), Jean-Marie Guéhenno (October 2000- June 2008), Alain Le Roy (June 2008-October 2011) et Hervé Ladsous since October 2011.

There are currently sixteen peacekeeping missions in the world, mobilizing over 100,000 soldiers and police men and about 16,000 civilians for a yearly budget of 7,81 million dollars. France is the fifth largest contributor to the budget of this department. 

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