Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 9 March 2016 announced the appointment of Jean Arnault of France as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission in Colombia. Mr. Arnault had served as Delegate of the Secretary-General to the Sub-Commission on End of Conflict Issues within the Colombian Peace Process since 13 August 2015. In that position, he has been working closely with the negotiating teams of the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) in the context of the peace talks that take place in Havana. Mr. Arnault has also been leading the Secretariat preparations for the deployment of the United Nations Mission in Colombia, established by the Security Council in January 2016.
Previously, Mr. Arnault was appointed by the Secretary-General as a member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. Prior to that, he served as United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan; Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG); Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi (UNOB). He was a moderator in the Guatemala peace process before his appointment as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).
Having graduated in philosophy from the University of Sorbonne-Paris I, Mr. Arnault was a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), focusing on peace settlements and mediation. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre on International Cooperation at New York University.
Born in 1951, he is married and has two children.
Deputy Special Representative for Colombia and Deputy Head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 12 January 2017 the appointment of Tania Patriota of Brazil as his Deputy Special Representative for Colombia and Deputy Head of the United Nations Mission in Colombia.
Ms. Patriota brings to this position more than 20 years of experience with the United Nations, working to promote development and support crisis response. Over the past 13 years Ms. Patriota has worked with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Brazil, Haiti, Colombia and Mongolia as well as postings in New York headquarters. During her four years as Resident Representative in Colombia, she provided overall strategic leadership for the delivery of UNFPA’s country programme, including coordinating the agency’s humanitarian response in natural disaster and conflict affected areas. As UNFPA’s Resident Representative in Haiti, she participated at a senior level in the United Nations system’s humanitarian response in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. She has deep expertise in the areas of international public health, population and development, and gender-based violence prevention and response.
Ms. Patriota holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, United States, with degrees in Cognitive and Experimental Psychology and Numerical Calculus from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.
Born in 1953, she is married and has two children.
Major General Javier Antonio Pérez Aquino
Since 16 June 2016, Major General Javier Antonio Pérez Aquino serves as Chief Observer in the United Nations Mission in Colombia.
Major General Perez Aquino has had a long and distinguished career since joining Argentina's Army as an infantry officer in 1981. He brings to his assignment 35 years of national and international military experience. In 1993, he served as a military observer in the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM).
Before his appointment to the UN Mission in Colombia, he served as Commander of the 12th Infantry (Jungle) Brigade in Argentina. He was the Chief of Staff of the Argentine Army Rapid Deployment Force from 2011 to 2014, and has also previously commanded a paratrooper infantry regiment and served as ‘Director of Humanitarian Support in Emergencies’ in the Argentinian Joint Staff.
Major General Pérez Aquino holds degrees in management, organisation and planning. He has also pursued various advanced military courses in Argentina and China and participated in the senior course on policy and strategic planning in Brazil.
Born in Argentina in 1959, he is married and has two children.
Verification Director a.i. of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia
Raúl Rosende is the Chief of Staff of the UN Mission in Colombia and has led the advanced team that that arrived in the country in February 2016.
Raúl Rosende has 26 years of experience in coordinating peace initiatives and in monitoring peace agreements, facilitating negotiations between authorities and non-state armed actors, and verifying peace and humanitarian agreements. Throughout his career he has worked for the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS).
He was UN Humanitarian Coordinator for northern Syria between 2014 and 2016; Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Damascus, Syria (2013-2014) and in Yemen (2010-2013). From 2008 to 2010 he was UNDP Peace Adviser in Palestine and from 2008 to 2010 he headed OCHA in Colombia, where he previously had been an advisor to the Resident Coordinator and Programme Coordinator.
In previous years, he worked as a Political Adviser in United Nations missions in Afghanistan and Guatemala.
He was Programme Coordinator of the OAS in Guatemala (1997-200) and in Nicaragua (1990-1996).
He has a Master's degree in International Relations and another in Peacebuilding.
Raúl Rosende has two daughters.