May 29, 2007 (UNITED NATIONS) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed today the former Sudanese diplomat Francis Deng as the new Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, succeeding Juan Mendez.
- Francis Deng
Deng succeeds Juan Méndez of Argentina, the first Special Adviser on genocide prevention who was appointed in July 2004 with a mandate to collect existing information on serious violations of human rights that could lead to genocide and to bring potential genocidal situations to the attention of the UN Security Council.
Among his activities, Méndez has made repeated visits to Darfur, resulting in varied recommendations to the Secretary-General and to the Security Council about what needs to be done in the strife-torn region of Sudan.
Deng is currently Director of the Sudan Peace Support Project based at the United States Institute of Peace. He is also a Wilhelm Fellow at the Center for International Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Research Professor of International Politics, Law and Society at Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
Before joining MIT, Deng was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the John Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.
Deng served as Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons from 1992 to 2004, and from 2002 to 2003 was also a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
He served as Human Rights Officer in the UN secretariat from 1967 to 1972 and as the Ambassador of Sudan to Canada, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States.
Deng also served as Sudan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. After leaving his country’s service, he was appointed the first Rockefeller Brothers Fund Distinguished Fellow.
He was at the Woodrow Wilson International Center first as a Guest Scholar and then as a Senior Research Associate, after which he joined The Brookings Institution as a Senior Fellow, where he founded and directed the Africa Project for 12 years.
He was then appointed Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York before joining Johns Hopkins University.
Among his numerous awards in his country and abroad, Deng is co-recipient with Roberta Cohen of the 2005 Grawemeyer Award for ’Ideas Improving World Order’ and the 2007 Merage Foundation American Dream Leadership Award. In 2000, Mr. Deng also received the Rome Prize for Peace and Humanitarian Action.
Deng holds an LL.B from Khartoum University and an LL.M and a J.S.D. from Yale University and has authored and edited over 30 books in the fields of law, conflict resolution, internal displacement, human rights, anthropology, folklore, history and politics and has also written two novels on the theme of the crisis of national identity in the Sudan.