Brussels The Co-Chairs of the Board of the International Crisis Group, Lord Patten of Barnes and Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, are very pleased to announce that the Honourable Louise Arbour has been selected to be the organisation’s next President and CEO.

She will be formally confirmed by Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees at its meeting in Washington DC in April 2009 and take up the position in July.

Ms Arbour brings with her decades of practical experience in international affairs, having held many high-profile posts in her distinguished career. From 2004 to 2008, she served as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the highest office mandated by the international community to promote and protect human rights. Before this, she was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.

From 1996 to 1999, she served as the Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In these roles, she drove a significant expansion of trial activity, bringing tens of accused war criminals into custody and leading the Tribunal to issue the first war crimes indictment by an international court of a serving head of state, President Slobodan Milosevic.

Her firm dedication to Crisis Group’s mission of conflict prevention and resolution has also been expressed by her service as a Board Member for a number of years.

“Louise comes to this new position with a depth and breadth of professional experience few can match”, said Co-Chair Chris Patten. “We are honoured and delighted to have her as our new President.”

“Her appointment will ensure that Crisis Group maintains and builds upon its reputation as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan source of analysis and advice to governments and intergovernmental bodies on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict”, said Co-Chair Tom Pickering.

“I am thrilled to be taking up this new position”, Louise Arbour said. “Understanding very well the influence Crisis Group has among top policymakers, I look forward to leading the organisation in finding ways to confront conflicts and potential conflicts around the world.”

Louise Arbour will succeed Gareth Evans, who has served with distinction as Crisis Group’s President since January 2000. He will return to Australia in July, from which home base he will be primarily engaged for the following twelve months in his role as Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, a joint global initiative of the Australian and Japanese governments.

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