Friday, July 17, 2009

Brian Kelly

Another day, another inspirational character. I met this amazing man today, again in the bookshop. He's just returned from 1 and a half years in Sudan working for the UN. This is what they had to say:

"A veteran of a dozen peacekeeping operations, Brian Kelly has witnessed first-hand some of the major success stories of the United Nations. He served in Namibia during its road to

independence, South Africa during the end of apartheid and East Timor during the historic

referendum that led to its own independence.

Kelly, a national of Ireland, has been a part of the birth of several nations. Kelly recounts with

pride the independence of Namibia, “As the flag was hoisted into the air there was the realisation that there was no national anthem. So a traditional song made do for those that were gathered for the momentous occasion.” Some experiences are much harrowing. As the tiny Pacific nation of East Timor moved towards independence, UN workers came under siege by Indonesian militiamen and were ordered evacuated. Many left, but several brave UN staff members refused to leave the UN compound, fearing that 1,300 Timorese who were seeking refuge there would be killed. In the end, the attack was averted and East Timor proceeded with the referendum that led to independence from Indonesia.

Kelly currently serves as Spokesperson of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS)

since March 2008. In Sudan he works on the mission’s efforts to support the Sudanese

government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Before that, he served as Spokesperson with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and has worked in post-conflict situations including Angola, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

He began his journalism career with the Irish Times in Dublin in the early 1960s, and later was a correspondent for Irish Press newspapers in Britain. From 1970 to 1987 he held various

information posts with the United Nations Development Programme in New York. He has been

working with UN peacekeeping and electoral missions since 1989."

And he's agreed to have coffee with me.

1 comment:

  1. if he likes rave, he's pretty much husband material!