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March 17, 2008 | by  | in News |
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Vic professor appointed to crack team of peacemongers

One of Victoria University’s professors has been appointed to an exclusive position on a newly created United Nations (UN) mediation team to assist with peace talks around the world.

Dr Andrew Ladley, who recently completed a five-year term as Director of Victoria’s Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), will serve as a Senior Expert Mediator on the United Nations Standby Team of Mediation Experts – an international six-member team established to provide conflict mediation in negotiations.

According to the UN, Ladley will provide specific help with his expertise in constitutional, electoral, justice and human rights matters, while also drawing on his previous experience with the UN in Cambodia, East Timor and Jamaica.

The team was chosen from hundreds of applications after an open invitation for nominations from UN Member States and advertisements on the Internet, and is being funded by the Norwegian government. They have started work immediately for an initial term of twelve months, with two of the six members already sent to Kenya to help with the current mediation efforts while the others are briefed in New York.

According to Ladley, who was interviewed in Oslo in early December for the position, hearing of his success in January was “a relief to know and to start getting my head around what [the role] might mean in practical terms.” While he has had previous experience with the UN, he describes the new mediation team as “a learning process for the UN and for us,” and the on-call nature of the job means that “looking at the email each day will be more interesting.”

Ladley will be based at Victoria when not on call, where he hopes to work on some academic writing as well as potentially teaching some courses in the Masters programme at the School of Government. Professor Stephen Boston has been named as his replacement as Acting Director of the IPS.

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