United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Norwegian diplomat Thor Winsland to the position of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, succeeding Bulgarian Nikolai Mladenov, who was appointed as the UN Special Envoy to Libya.
The diplomat Winsland served as the Norwegian envoy to the Middle East peace process, and he joined the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983, and he also worked as Norway’s representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2011, and his country’s ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012 to 2015.
Guterres also appointed Mladenov to the post of the UN special envoy to Libya, a position which has been vacant since the resignation of the former UN envoy, Ghassan Salame, last March.
It is customary for the Secretary-General to obtain the approval of the members of the Security Council, before he announces the names of the heads of UN missions and his special representatives.
A few days ago, Guterres sent an official letter to the Security Council regarding his desire to appoint Nikolai Mladenov as the UN special envoy to Libya.
The members of the Security Council approved the two decisions of the Secretary-General, which ended months of wrangling among the members of the Council regarding an American proposal to divide the role in Libya, so that one person would run the political mission of the United Nations and focus another on mediating the conflict.
The Security Council approved this proposal in September, but Russia and China abstained.