Mr. Wennesland serves as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Quartet.
Mr. Wennesland is a career diplomat who joined the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983. Until his appointment as Special Coordinator, Mr. Wennesland was Norway’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process, which included responsibility for Norway’s chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.
He has extensive experience in the Middle East. Mr. Wennesland served as Norway’s Representative to the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2011 and as Norwegian Ambassador to Egypt and Libya from 2012 to 2015. He was the Aid Coordination Adviser to the Office of the Quartet Representative from 2007 to 2008 and was Adviser on the Middle East Desk in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the process that led to the Oslo II Agreement.
He was previously involved in the work to establish trans-boundary water agreements for the Euphrates River and the Jordan River Basin and was the Secretary-General of the International Water Academy. Additional prior diplomatic postings include the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the Norwegian Embassy in Dublin.
Mr. Wennesland earned a Master of Divinity from the Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo and holds degrees in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Oslo.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 22 December 2023 the appointment of James Eugene McGoldrick of Ireland as his new Ad Interim Deputy Special Coordinator and Resident Coordinator, Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO). Mr. McGoldrick will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim. He succeeds Lynn Hastings of Canada, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and service.
Mr. McGoldrick brings extensive experience in humanitarian affairs, international cooperation, economic development, and political affairs. He previously served as the Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in UNSCO, between 2018 and 2020. From 2015 to 2018, Mr. McGoldrick was the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Yemen. He also worked with the International Red Cross movement and non-governmental organizations in a number of countries in Africa.
Mr. McGoldrick holds a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Glasgow Caledonian University. He also attained qualifications in disaster management, preventive diplomacy and mediation.