- Sérgio Vieira de Mello
name = Sérgio Vieira de Mello
image_size = 200px
birth_date = Birth date|1948|3|15
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
death_date = Death date and age|2003|8|19|1948|3|15
death_cause = Killed in the
Canal Hotel bombing
Alma mater =
University of Paris( Sorbonne)
Diplomat, humanitarian worker
Sérgio Vieira de Mello (
March 15 1948– August 19 2003) was an illustrious Brazilian United Nations(UN) diplomatwho worked for the UN for more than 34 years, earning respect and praise around the world for his efforts in the humanitarianand political programs of the UN.
He was killed in the
Canal Hotel Bombingin Iraqalong with 21 other members of his staff on 19 August 2003while working as the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Iraq.
Vieira de Mello [http://www.sergiovdmfoundation.org/en/sergio_biography.html] was born in
Rio de Janeiroto the diplomat Arnaldo Vieira de Mello and his wife Gilda; he had a sister, Sônia.
He joined the UN in 1969 while studying
philosophyand humanitiesat the Sorbonne Universityof Paris. He received two doctoratedegrees from the Sorbonne (1985). He was fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and conversational Arabic, as well as his native Portuguese.
He began his U.N. career as an official of the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees( UNHCR) in Genevain 1969. He worked with refugees in Bangladeshduring its independence in 1971 and in Cyprusafter the 1974 Turkish invasion.
He spent three years in charge of UNHCR operations in
Mozambiqueduring the civil warthat followed its independence from Portugalin 1975, and three more in Peru. Vieira de Mello also served as Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Cambodia, being the first and only UN Representative to hold talks with the Khmer Rouge. He became senior political adviser to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanonbetween 1981 and 1983.
The early 1990s found him involved in the clearing of
land mines in Cambodia, and then in Yugoslavia. After working on the refugee problem in central Africa, he was made Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees in 1996 and he became UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinatortwo years later. He would hold this position simultaneously with others until January 2001. He was a special UN envoy in Kosovoafter the end of Serbian control of the former Yugoslav province in 1999. Vieira de Mello was instrumental in dealing with the issue of boat peoplein Hong Kong.
In mid-2000, he visited
Fijitogether with Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth of Nations' Secretary-General, in an attempt to assist in finding a negotiated settlement to the hostage situation, in which Fiji's Prime Minister and other members of Parliament were kidnapped and held as hostages during the 2000 Fijian coup d'état. [http://www.fijitv.com.fj/index.cfm?go=tv.resources&cmd=forumview&cbegin=0&uid=fijionenews&cid=11029]
Before becoming the
UN High Commissioner for Human Rightsin 2002, he was the UN Transitional Administrator in East Timorfrom December 1999 to May 2002, guiding that former Portuguese colonyoccupied by Indonesiato independence. He was also special representative in Kosovo for an initial period of two months and was the coordinator of humanitarian operations at UN headquarters. In May 2003 Vieira de Mello was appointed as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq, an appointment initially intended to last for four months. According to "New York Times Magazine" journalist James Traubin his book "The Best Intentions", Vieira de Mello had originally turned down the appointment before being persuaded by Condoleezza Riceand President George W. Bush. He had been working in this position when he was killed in the Canal Hotel bombing.
He was mentioned in some circles as a suitable candidate for
UN Secretary General. His death was widely mourned, largely on account of his reputation for effective work to promote peace. Vieira de Mello was survived by his French wife Annie, and two adult sons, Laurent and Adrien. He was buried at the Cimetière des Roisin Geneva, Switzerland.
Some of his friends and family have created the "Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation" [http://www.sergiovdmfoundation.org] to honor his life and carry on his mission.
In April 2004, Sérgio Vieira de Mello was posthumously awarded the 'Statesman of the Year Award' by the EastWest Institute [http://www.ewi.info] , a Transatlantic think tank that organizes an annual Security Conference in Brussels [http://wsc.ewi.info] .
De Mello founded two large, important, similarly-titled Human Rights Agencies: UNHRP [United Nations Housing Rights Programme] and UNHREP [United Nations Human Rights Educational Project] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Human_Rights_Educational_Project] . The former is currently a part of UN-Habitat Settlements Programme headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya [Executive Director Ms. Anna Tibaijuka] .
The goal of UNHREP "is to set up an educational facility for teaching Human Rights from a variety of angles. The school will then be further developed to include subjects of international relations, conflict resolution, diplomacy and diplomatic etiquette" [http://midiaindependente.org/en/blue/2004/07/286986.shtml] .
According to the UN-Habitat Settlements Programme [http://www.unhabitat.org/programmes/housingrights/] , "The development objective of the UNHRP is to assist States and other stakeholders with the implementation of their commitments in the Habitat Agenda to ensure the full and progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing as provided for in international instruments."
Accounts of his death
In his book "The Prince of the Marshes", Scottish writer
Rory Stewartrecounts his experiences at the Canal Hotel the day of De Mello's death. Quotation
I had wandered past the security point without anyone attempting to search me or ask my business. The Iraqis coming in and out of the compound were good-humored. I had said to my friend that things seemed pretty relaxed. She had replied that the special representative was proud that Iraqis could approach the UN building -unlike in the Green Zone, whose barriers were a half mile from the main offices.
My friend went into a small office and soon came out, apologizing; it might be possible for me to join the meeting after all. I saw De Mello passing. I had met him in Indonesia, but he did not catch my eye or recognize me and I went to the canteen, where I sat from ten until two in the afternoon, talking to local NGO staff who came in to eat and use the Internet. I particularly liked a Tunisian security advisor who had served in the Balkans and was worried about terrorists targeting the UN.
I left at two, intending to return later in the afternoon to use the Internet. But when I came back at 4:30, a thick column of smoke was rising from either end of the building, families were screaming and pushing at a cordon of U.S. soldiers, and the woman who had served me my salad in the cafeteria was running toward us. In my brief time away from the building, a suicide bomber had driven his truck up beneath De Mello's office window [cite book
last = Stewart
first = Rory
authorlink = Rory Stewart
title = The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq
year = 2006
pages = 101-103
isbn= 978-0-15-603279-7] .
*1969-1971: French Editor,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*1971-1972: Project Officer,
UNHCR, Dhâkâ, East Pakistan
*1972-1973: Programme Officer,
UNHCR, Juba, Sudan
*1974-1975: Programme Officer,
UNHCR, Nicosia, Cyprus
*1975-1977: Deputy Representative and Representative,
UNHCR, Maputo, Mozambique
UNHCR, Lima, Peru
*1980-1981: Head of Career Development and Training Unit of Personnel Section,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*1981-1983: Senior Political Officer,
UNIFIL, DPKO, Lebanon
*1983-1985: Deputy Head of Personnel,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
Chef de Cabinetand Secretary to the Executive Committee, UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*1988-1990: Director of
AsiaBureau, UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*1990-1991: Director of External Affairs,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*1991-1993: Director for Repatriation and Resettlement Operations,
UNTAC, DPKO, and Special Envoy of High Commissioner Sadako Ogata, UNHCR, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
*1993-1994: Director of Political Affairs,
UNPROFOR, DPKO, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
*1994-1996: Director of Operations and Planning,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
*October-December 1996: Special Envoy of Secretary-General to the
Great Lakes Region
*1996-1998: Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees,
UNHCR, Geneva, Switzerland
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, UN, New York, USA
*June-July 1999: Special Representative of Secretary-General to
*1999-2002: Transitional Administrator,
UNTAET, DPKO, Dili, East Timor-Leste
High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
*May-August 2003: Special Representative of the
UN Secretary-Generalto Iraq
*Jean-Claude Buhrer et Claude B. Levenson, "Sergio Vieira de Mello, un espoir foudroyé". –
Paris: Mille et une nuits, 2004. – 199 p., 20 cm. – ISBN 2-84205-826-7 .
*George Gordon-Lennox et Annick Stevenson, "Sergio Vieira de Mello : un homme exceptionnel". –
Genève: Éditions du Tricorne, 2004. – 143 p., 25 cm. – ISBN 2-8293-0266-4. – En appendice, choix de textes de Sergio Vieira de Mello.
*Jacques Marcovitch - USP - "Sérgio Vieira de Mello - pensamento e memória". 1 Edição | 2004 | Brochura 344p. | Cód.: 167075 | ISBN 853140867 (
Samantha Power, "Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World", (Hardcover - Pub. Date: 2/14/2008).
* [http://www.sergiovdmfoundation.org Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation]
* [http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10717820&CFID=14377625&CFTOKEN=3d46a1ee5a8a830b-601EEE13-B27C-BB00-0127738E5FE59A82 The Economist - "A brave man's journey"]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2146395.stm BBC News - Obituary: "Sergio Vieira de Mello"]
* [http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/08/19/sprj.irq.demello/ CNN - "Sergio Vieira de Mello: A Rising Star"]
* [http://home.nyc.rr.com/sergiodemellodoc/ "En Route to Baghdad" directed by Brazilian journalist Simone Duarte ]
* [http://www.usp.br/svm USP "Sergio Vieira de Mello: pensamento e memória" ] . (Portuguese language).
* [http://ochaonline.un.org/webpage.asp?ParentID=9848&MenuID=9855&Page=1291 "Sergio Vieira de Mello
Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator]
* [http://www.ohchr.org/english/about/hc/vieira.htm UNHCHR Sergio Vieira de Mello]
* [http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/enroutetobaghdad/sergio.html PBS Independent Lens pages on "En Route To Baghdad"]
* [http://midiaindependente.org/en/blue/2004/07/286986.shtml UNHREP. The Final Project of the Man of Peace]
* [http://www.unspecial.org/UNS671/t22.html UN Special Nº671. DEAR FRIENDS OF SERGIO]
* [http://www.hrdc.net/sahrdc/hrfchr59/Issue6/interview.htm Interview with Human Rights Features]
* [http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/08/20/1450239 Interview] on
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/forum/2523983.stm Interview] on
* [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/europe/july-dec99/kosovo_8-4.html Can Kosovo recover?] - Interview on PBS
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Sergio vieira de mello — Pour les articles homonymes, voir De Mello. Sergio Vieira de Mello Sergio Vieira de Mello (Ri … Wikipédia en Français
Sérgio Vieira de Mello — Sergio Vieira de Mello Pour les articles homonymes, voir De Mello. Sergio Vieira de Mello Sergio Vieira de Mello (Ri … Wikipédia en Français
Sergio Vieira de Mello — Sérgio Vieira de Mello, 2002 De Mellos Sarg Sérgio Vieira de Mello (* 15. März 1948 in Rio de Janeiro; † … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sérgio Vieira de Mello — Sérgio Vieira de Mello, 2002 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sergio Vieira de Mello — Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos … Wikipedia Español
Sergio Vieira de Mello — (15 de Marzo de 1948 19 de Agosto de 2003) fue un Brasileño Diplomático de Naciones Unidas (ONU) . Hablaba fluidamente en Inglés y Francés, además de Portugués (su lengua materna). Hijo de Diplomático de carrera, nacido en … Enciclopedia Universal
Sergio Vieira de Mello — Pour les articles homonymes, voir De Mello. Sérgio Vieira de Mello Sérgio Vieira de Mello (Rio de Janeiro, 15 mars … Wikipédia en Français
Prix Sérgio Vieira de Mello — Le présent article concerne le prix créé en Pologne en 2003. La Fondation Sergio Vieira de Mello a créé en 2011 son propre prix Sergio Vieira de Mello Award Le Prix Sérgio Vieira de Mello du nom de l ancien secrétaire général adjoint des… … Wikipédia en Français
Fondation Sergio Vieira de Mello — logo de la Fondation SVDM La fondation Sergio Vieira de Mello fut créée en 2007 afin de perpétuer le travail et l idéal de Sergio Vieira de Mello, Sous Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies et envoyé spécial en Irak qui perdit la vie lors d … Wikipédia en Français
Vieira de Mello, Sergio — ▪ 2004 Brazilian diplomat (b. March 15, 1948, Rio de Janeiro, Braz. d. Aug. 19, 2003, Baghdad, Iraq), dedicated his life to attempting to bring peace, assisting refugees, and aiding humanitarian relief in many of the most volatile trouble… … Universalium