Rød-Larsen in 2017
|Minister of Planning|
25 October 1996 - 28 November 1996
|Born||22 November 1947|
|Political party||Labour Party|
Rød-Larsen came to wide international prominence as a key figure in the 1990s negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords--the first-ever agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) -- when he served as the Director of the Fafo institute.
In 1993, Rød-Larsen was appointed Ambassador and Special Adviser for the Middle East Peace process to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, and the following year, he became the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories at the rank of Under-Secretary-General.
Rød-Larsen briefly served as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Planning and Cooperation of Norway in the Jagland cabinet in 1996.
Rød-Larsen then returned to the United Nations, where he again became an Under-Secretary-General, serving as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority from 1999 to 2004.
Rød-Larsen grew up in Bergen and studied social sciences, culminating in a Ph.D. in sociology. He taught at Norwegian universities until 1981, when he helped found FAFO, a research organization funded by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.
In 1989 Rød-Larsen moved to Cairo, when his wife Mona Juul, who worked for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was stationed there. He continued to work for FAFO, as the organization had become more internationally oriented during the 1980s. Rød-Larsen performed a detailed sociological study of living conditions in the West Bank, Gaza and Eastern Jerusalem. In the course of this work, Rød-Larsen made contacts that proved to be useful in secret negotiations between Israel and the PLO.
When serving as the Director of the Fafo institute in the early 1990s, Rød-Larsen became a key figure in the 1990s negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords -- the first-ever agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). He served a pivotal role in the negotiations not only overtly, but in secret back-channel maneuvers and communications -- largely arranged and facilitated by him and his wife, Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul. She was able to facilitate high-level contacts with the Norwegian foreign minister, Johan Jørgen Holst, who was instrumental in reaching the Oslo Accords -- leading to the peace agreement signing on September 13, 1993 in Washington D.C..
The 2016-2017 Broadway play, Oslo, by noted playwright J. T. Rogers, is a widely-praised dramatization of the previously unheralded secret work of Rød-Larsen and his wife, and others, in developing the back-channel communications that (reportedly) saved the Oslo negotiations from collapsing.
The same year Rød-Larsen became formally employed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a special advisor on Middle Eastern affairs.
In 1996, Rød-Larsen served briefly as minister of administration in the government of Thorbjørn Jagland, before being forced to resign as the result of a tax scandal.
In 9/9/1999, Rød-Larsen was appointed as UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's personal representative to the PLO and Palestinian Authority on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He is also the UN Special Coordinator for peace negotiations in the Middle East. He subsequently left the post in 2004 to become President of the International Peace Academy, a NYC-based think tank, and was also designated as UN Special Representative (Date of Appointment : 3/1/2005) for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, which calls for Syrian withdrawal of Lebanon and the disarmament of Hezbollah.
On this date Rød-Larsen told reporters. "There is a golden opportunity for Lebanon to solidify its democracy, to assert it authority, to produce a situation where Lebanon can be reconstructed and where Lebanese can live peacefully with its neighbors in prosperity. All this is at hand."
The United Nations special envoy to Syria and Lebanon said on 22 August 2006 it could take the Lebanese army and international troops two to three months to fill a "security vacuum" in southern Lebanon and warned that "unintended" acts could spark renewed fighting.
"There is now a security vacuum which the Lebanese government is trying to fill" with the help of international forces, said Terje Rød-Larsen. "But I think realistically, up to a point, you will have such a vacuum in Lebanon for the next two, three months," he added. "The situation is still extremely fragile... Unintended incidents can kick off renewed violence, which might escalate and spin out of control."