Tamrat Samuel has a long service with the United Nations. He has twice served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in Liberia (2013-2015) and in Nepal (2007-2008). Between 2009 and 2012, he was Director of the Asia and the Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), where he had served since the early 1990s as desk officer, team leader and Deputy Director with direct responsibility for a number of active portfolios in the region.
Between 1992 and 2000, he served as the focal point for the Secretary-General’s good offices on the “Question of East Timor”. He was actively involved in the lengthy negotiations under the Secretary-General’s auspices, which culminated in the historic 5 May 1999 Agreements and paved the way for the UN-organized Popular Consultation of 30 August 1999 and Timor-Leste’s independence. He provided the main channel of the UN’s engagement with East Timorese leaders of all sides during that period. He organized and facilitated five rounds of the All-inclusive Intra-East Timorese Dialogue from 1994 to 1998. In 1999, he was intimately involved in the planning and implementation of the Popular Consultation for independence and served as head of the Jakarta office of the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET).
In 2003, he initiated the UN’s efforts to encourage and support a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Nepal, and over a number of years maintained a continuous dialogue with all stakeholders. With the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006 and the formal request for UN assistance in its implementation, he played a major role in the design and establishment of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and served as its first Deputy Head.
As DSRSG for Rule of Law in the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) between 2013 and 2015, he directed and led UNMIL’s Rule of Law Pillar comprising four key areas: human rights, police, justice, and corrections as well as leading and coordinating the UN’s support to Liberia’s constitutional review process.
Mr. Samuel holds an LL.M. degree in international law from New York University.