Meet Robert H Serry, the career diplomat from the Netherlands who the Secretary General tapped to lead the UN’s efforts to mediate the crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea.
On paper, he looks to be the perfect person for the task.
Serry has worked in the UN system since 2007. Prior to that he served as the Dutch ambassador to Russia and Ukraine. He even wrote a book about it!
Serry currently serves as the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, meaning he is Ban Ki Moon’s representative to the “quartet.” The other three members are Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Theoretically, that should mean he has developed a diplomatic acumen in dealing with the United States and Russia on a high stakes political dispute.
Serry left Kiev for Crimea yesterday. He will be the highest ranking international diplomat to visit Crimea since the crisis erupted. I would imagine that we’ll be hearing a great deal more from — and about — Robert Serry in the coming weeks.
UPDATE: It didn’t take weeks for Robert Serry to become the news. More like hours. According to various reports, UN Envoy Serry was blockaded inside a coffee shop by armed men. Journalist James Mates, who is traveling with him, just Tweeted this.
Outside coffee shop are men in combat fatigues blocking the door. Some wear pro Russia black and gold arm band. Not allowing anyone in/out
— James Mates (@jamesmatesitv) March 5, 2014
UPDATE II: Serry received a police escort out of Crimea. He’s now en route to Istanbul and tomorrow will brief the Secretary General on what transpired. Yikes.