United Nations published this video item, entitled “”Harnessing constructive outrage” interview with Staffan de Mistura – Awake at Night: S6-E2″ – below is their description.
“I got such a feeling of outrage, healthy outrage, proactive outrage, which I still feel now.”
Staffan de Mistura has dedicated his life to making a difference. Now the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, he spent a large part of his 48-year career at the UN striving for an end to some of the most intractable conflicts of modern times.
“I have no regrets. I would have never chosen another type of job. I think you can [make a difference] even in the worst-case scenario – always.”
From Syria and Afghanistan to Sudan and Iraq, the seasoned diplomat is known for bringing creative thinking to the negotiating table even when others have lost hope. In this episode, Staffan de Mistura reflects on harnessing constructive outrage as a driving force, on his determination in the face of despair, and why at 75, he isn’t ready to retire just yet.
Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.
Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.
Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia. The capital and largest city is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Assyrians, Yazidis, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandaeans, Circassians, Sabians and Kawliya. Around 99% of the country’s 38 million citizens are Muslims, with small minorities of Christians, Yarsans, Yezidis and Mandeans also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km (36 miles) on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf. These rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, historically known as Mesopotamia, is often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 19 governorates, four of which make up the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Disputes over the sovereignty of Kurdistan Region continue.
Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF.
Sudan’s history goes back to the Pharaonic period. Independence from the British was proclaimed on 1 January 1956.
Islam was Sudan’s state religion and Islamic laws applied from 1983 until 2020 when the country became a secular state. The economy has been described as lower-middle income and relies on oil production. Sudan is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, African Union, COMESA, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.
Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighboring Morocco.