Click here to listen to the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”.
ICERM Radio Book Review Program, March 13, 2014.
Host: Chavie Brumer.
Guest and Author: Ambassador Shola Omoregie.
We are happy to announce the review of “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations”, a candid and illuminating memoir written by Ambassador Shola Omoregie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, and Former Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Guinea- Bissau and Head of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).
In this detailed, candid and illuminating memoir, Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations, Ambassador Shola Omoregie sheds light on a personal journey from childhood in Nigeria, through professional transition in the Nigerian Foreign Service to his eventual elevation as a top United Nations official. Ambassador Omoregie recounts the story of his youth with verve, sharing anecdotes of his birth in a polygamous home and of growing up in the homes of his maternal grandfather and uncle. He offers personal and direct accounts of the influence of the Nigerian civil war on his life, including many dangerous encounters when he was mistaken for a rebel soldier.
Ambassador Omoregie highlights his transition from service in the Nigerian Foreign Service to the United Nations where he served for more than three decades. As the Resident Representative of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in Botswana and later in Angola, culminating in his appointment as the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peace Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau, where he was entrusted with the responsibility of managing critical United Nations peace-building efforts. He boldly addresses the many peculiar challenges and limitations of working in a multinational setting and navigating the many associated ordeals, including leading the international community efforts to stabilize the volatile situation in Guinea-Bissau. He examines the extraordinary powers exerted by certain major countries within the Organization and deftly examines the practical implications of the structure of the international system on the internal workings of the United Nations Security Council.
The memoir provides glimpses from the vantage point of someone who had seen action in the Front Line States in Southern Africa; of being at the heart of the United Nations Secretariat in New York at a critical time, including personally witnessing the inner dynamics of the Security Council; and of leading critical field assignments in Angola, Botswana and Guinea-Bissau, while also undertaking United Nations Ad Hoc assignments. It also offers lessons learned from his direct experiences as a United Nations expert and as a consultant for the African Union, to which he provided technical and political expertise during the establishment of its Peace and Security Council. This contribution, therefore, comes from someone who has observed developments at close quarters at the international level, including the transformation in the Security Council following the end of the Cold War.
This fascinating multi-disciplinary memoir will be of special interest to policy makers, students on a broad range of academic disciplines and others with interest in, and committed to multilateral diplomacy in a multifaceted international system.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SHOLA JONATHAN OMOREGIE is founder and Chief Operating Officer of Africa Peace Support, LLC, an international political and security consulting firm with headquarters in New York. A retired career diplomat, Ambassador Omoregie had extensive experience spanning over three decades at the United Nations where he was an expert in Security Council affairs and peace operations. He retired from the United Nations after serving as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea Bissau. Ambassador Omoregie was also a long-serving member of the Nigerian Foreign Service where he rose to the rank of ambassador. He served at various Nigerian diplomatic missions, including Beijing in China and London and Liverpool in the United Kingdom, where he was the Area Officer. He was educated at the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, where he earned a B.SC (Honors) in psychology. Born on 12 December 1946 in Benin City, Nigeria, he is married and has six children.
More information about Ambassador Shola Omoregie and his book, “Witness to Transformation: My years at the United Nations” is found on this website: http://www.africapeacesupport.com/.