Former Head of the EU’s External Action Service and current UN Special Adviser on Cyprus to lead HD’s Foundation Board

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is pleased to announce that Ambassador Pierre Vimont and Mr Espen Barth Eide, were elected last week respectively as new Chair and new Vice-Chair of its Foundation Board.

Ambassador Pierre Vimont joined HD’s Board in 2015. He succeeds Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who stepped down after more than five years in that position but remains a Board Member. Mr Espen Eide joined HD’s Board in 2013 and has been Chairman of its Operations Committee, which oversees the organisation’s programme of work.

Ambassador Vimont and Mr. Eide bring a wealth of experience in diplomacy and international affairs at the highest level. “It does not get better than this,” said David Harland, HD’s Executive Director. “Armed conflict is getting worse and their experience and expertise is what we need to help us address those conflicts effectively”.

Ambassador Vimont is the former Executive Secretary-General of the European External Action Service of the European Union, a position he held from 2010 to 2015. Prior to this, Ambassador Vimont had led a long and successful career in the French diplomatic service, serving among others as Ambassador to the United States (2007-2010), Ambassador to the European Union (1999-2002), and Chief of Staff to three former French Foreign Ministers. Ambassador Vimont holds the title of Ambassador of France, a dignity bestowed for life on only a few French diplomats. He is also a Knight of the French National Order of Merit.

Mr Eide is United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus. He currently chairs the negotiations which seek to reunify the divided island. From 2014-2016, he was Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Geneva. Until October 2013, Mr Eide was Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. During his 10 years in government (2000-2001 and 2005-2013), he held the positions of Minister of Defence, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Minister of Defence. Mr Eide also pursued an academic career in political science.

“I feel honoured by the trust that my fellow Board Members have placed in me,” said Ambassador Vimont. “The best response to today’s increasingly complex conflicts is, and remains, dialogue. Throughout the 17 years of its existence, HD has successfully demonstrated the power of dialogue as a tool to prevent and resolve conflict. As HD’s new Chair, I will endeavour to continue the work of my dignified predecessor and contribute to HD’s worthy peacemaking initiatives internationally,” he added.

HD would like to thank Mr. Guéhenno, under whose leadership the organization became stronger, and registered important achievements.

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