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SG/SM/21606

Secretary-General Saddened by Death of Francesc Vendrell, Calling Him ‘a Brilliant Mediator’ for Political, Peace Processes in 34-Year Career at United Nations

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General was saddened to learn of the death on 27 November of Francesc Vendrell, a brilliant mediator who helped shepherd major political and peace processes during a long and distinguished United Nations career.

Mr. Vendrell served the United Nations for 34 years, beginning in the 1980s. He was Deputy Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for Central America during a period of intense diplomacy, in which the United Nations supported negotiations leading to elections in Nicaragua in 1990; talks that led to a peace agreement between the Government of El Salvador and the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional; and the opening of a peace process that would ultimately lead to the settlement of the conflict in Guatemala in 1996.

Mr. Vendrell also played an important role in the process leading to independence for East Timor, as senior adviser and subsequently as the Secretary-General's Deputy Personal Representative to the negotiations between Portugal and Indonesia.

In January 2000, he was appointed as the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Afghanistan, a position he held for two years.

The Secretary-General conveys his sincere condolences to Mr. Vendrell’s family and loved ones.

Those who had the privilege to work alongside him will always remember his dedication and tireless commitment to the search for peace through dialogue.

For information media. Not an official record.