|JAYANTHA DHANAPALA: A SOLID U.N. MANAGER WITH A DYNAMIC
9 September 2005
The unassuming yet easily distinguished former U.N. Under-Secretary General from Sri Lanka typically
avoids self-promotion. He always did his sterling work in an inclusive, transparent and dynamic manner,
giving credit to his team of colleagues.
An Asian deeply committed to the issues of his continent, Mr. Dhanapala gained intricate knowledge of
main international problems through his U.N. work and his active participation in regional seminars and
international conferences. He combined cost-effective management with compassionate support for human
dignity and the value of life. As head of the Disarmament Department, he presented intricate technical
issues in clear concise terms and combined his understanding of Big Power politics with his commitment to
international peace and security.
A close associate of our beloved colleague Sergio Vieira de Mello, he grieved deeply and graciously,
unlike those who went out shamelessly exploiting our tragedy to acquire personal media coverage.
More to the point at these crucial times for the U.N., Jayantha Dhanapala has impeccable personal
integrity with a clear focus on issues at hand. While gracious with colleagues, he never compromised
on professional competence and administrative accountability. While open to new proposals, he does not need
a listening tour nor an orientation training course. He is ready, able and qualified. For what? If you
have to ask then you are not aware that the turn for the next Secretary General is for Asia.