Ambassador Lamberto Zannier of Italy took up the mandate of OSCE High
Commissioner on National Minorities on 19 July 2017. Before taking up the position as High Commissioner, Zannier was OSCE Secretary General during two consecutive three-year terms, from 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2017. Zannier joined the Italian Foreign Ministry as a career diplomat in 1978. From June 2008 to June 2011 he was UN Special Representative for Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). From 2006 to 2008 he was Coordinator for CFSP and ESDP (now CSDP) in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dealing inter alia with EU foreign policy issues and with Italy’s participation in EU operations, both civilian and military. From 2002 to 2006, he was the Director of the Conflict Prevention Centre of the OSCE, focused on political-military issues, as well as crisis management, and responsible for managing the OSCE’s field operations. Previous senior positions include Representative of Italy to the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague (2000-2002), Chairperson of the negotiations on the adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (1998-1999) and Head of Disarmament, Arms Control and Cooperative Security at NATO (1991-1997). Previously, he served in Rome, Abu Dhabi and Vienna, mainly specializing in multilateral and security affairs. He is currently President of the Centre for International Negotiation and Mediation of the University of Gorizia, Italy. He was awarded the distinction of Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Star for services to the Republic of Austria and Grand Offi cer in the Order of Orange Nassau by the Government of the Netherlands.