U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon appealed for “strong, clear and unified” international support behind Brahimi as he announced the appointment in a statement.
“The Secretary-General appreciates Mr. Brahimi’s willingness to bring his considerable talents and experience to this crucial task for which he will need, and rightly expects, the strong, clear and unified support of the international community, including the Security Council,” said U.N. spokesman Eduardo del Buey.
His appointment was agreed to by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, del Buey said. Brahimi, 78, will have a slightly altered title, Joint Special Representative for Syria.
U.N. officials told Reuters that Brahimi was expected to arrive in New York next week to meet with Ban and discuss plans for a fresh approach to the Syria conflict, which the United Nations says has killed over 18,000 people.
Brahimi has served as a U.N. special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including: in Iraq after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein; in Afghanistan, both before and after the end of Taliban rule; and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.
More than 23,000 people have been killed in violence in Syria since the outbreak of a revolt in March last year, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.