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Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown

Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown British journalist; United Nations official

British journalist; United Nations official
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British journalist; United Nations official
Is Politician Journalist
From United Kingdom
Type Journalism Politics
Gender male
Birth 16 September 1953
Age: 66 years
Star sign VirgoVirgo
The details
Biography

George Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown KCMG PC (born 16 September 1953) is a former UK government minister (2007 – 2009) and United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (2006), as well as development specialist at the World Bank and United Nations (1994 – 2005), and a communications consultant and journalist. He was Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British government with responsibility for Africa, Asia and the United Nations (June 2007 - July 2009). Following his appointment to government, Malloch Brown was created a life peer on 9 July 2007 as Baron Malloch-Brown, of St Leonard's Forest in the County of West Sussex (his title is hyphenated but his surname is not). Malloch Brown was previously at the World Bank (1994–1999), the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (1999–2005) and briefly United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (April to December 2006). He had previously worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (1979–1983). He is also a former journalist for The Economist, development specialist, and communications consultant. He has served as Chair of the Royal African Society, among other non-governmental and private sector roles, such as membership of the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group.

Early life and education

Malloch Brown was born in England in 1953 to a South African diplomat who had been exiled. He was educated at Marlborough College, and earned a First Class Honours Degree in History from Magdalene College, Cambridge and a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan. He is an only child, but has four children with his wife.

Early career

He was the political correspondent at The Economist between 1977 and 1979. Following this he worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1979 to 1983, where he worked for Kofi Annan, and was stationed in Thailand (1979 to 1981) where he was in charge of field operations for Cambodian refugees and supervised the construction of camps at Sa Kaeo and Khao-I-Dang. In this period the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize, the second time it had been awarded the prize.

Malloch Brown contemplated running for the SDP in the 1983 UK General election but was not selected as a candidate.

In 1983 Malloch Brown returned to The Economist as the founding editor of the Economist Development Report, a position he retained until 1986.

Sawyer-Miller (1986–1994)

Malloch Brown was the lead international partner at the US-based Sawyer-Miller Group communications consultancy from 1986 to 1994; he ultimately co-owned the Group with three other partners. The Group was among the first communication consultants to use US-style election campaign methods for foreign governments, companies, and public policy debates.

His international assignments included work in Chile, where he advised the opposition in its successful challenge to former dictator Augusto Pinochet, and in the Philippines, where he worked with Corazon Aquino in the campaign against the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. He also worked in Peru (where he assisted Mario Vargas Llosa with his 1990 presidential campaign), Colombia (where he advised the government on how to shed "its image as the political wing of the Medellin cartel"), Venezuela and Bolivia. In 1989 Malloch Brown advised Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada's presidential campaign in Bolivia.

He also "worked extensively on privatisation and other economic reform issues with leaders in Eastern Europe and Russia."

World Bank and United Nations (1994–2006)

In 1994 Malloch Brown joined the World Bank as Vice-President for External Affairs, which included responsibility for relations with the United Nations. Malloch Brown used his experience to good effect at the bank, helping to transform its reputation: "under his guidance, the bank blitzed opinion-makers with full-page newspaper advertisements and a television campaign to change perceptions of it as an arrogant institution unwilling to heed outsiders. To his credit, the institution gradually gained a reputation as a 'listening bank', unlike its more aloof sister institution, the International Monetary Fund."

In July 1999 he moved back to the United Nations as Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), remaining in this position until August 2005. In this role Malloch Brown co-ordinated the UN's response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Internally at UNDP, which was facing increased competition from the World Bank in its areas of responsibility such as capacity building, governance and emergency recovery, he tried to re orient UNDP's activities (sometimes controversially), because of competition with other UN agencies who were also adapting to the demands of a globalising world. Compared with his predecessor, he improved resource mobilisation from donor countries. He led the UN's creation of the Millennium Development Goals which were adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in December 2000, later recounting that the draft had gone to the printers without an environmental goal when Malloch Brown passed the head of the UN environment programme in a corridor, leading to the rapid addition of MDG number 7.

In January 2005 he was appointed Chef de Cabinet to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whilst retaining his position as Administrator of UNDP for much of 2005.

Deputy Secretary-General (2006)

Malloch Brown succeeded Louise Fréchette as United Nations Deputy Secretary-General on 1 April 2006, retaining the position until December 2006.

Oil for food

Malloch Brown publicly defended handling of the Oil-for-Food Programme by the UN in general, and Kofi Annan in particular. While he countered critics that "Not a penny was lost from the organization," an internal UN audit of the Oil-for-Food programme revealed that there had been overcompensation amounting to $557 million. A separate audit of UN peacekeeping procurement concluded that at least $310 million from a budget of $1.6 billion could not be accounted for.

Malloch Brown, briefing the Security Council, argued that, while the situation uncovered by the audit was "alarming", and that nearly $300 million out of a $1.6 billion budget was involved, it showed more that there was significant waste with only narrow instances of fraud. He noted that the UN Secretariat, based on the reservations expressed by the department being audited, did not entirely accept the auditor's conclusions.

Criticisms of the George W. Bush administration

On 6 June 2006, while addressing a conference in New York City, he criticised the United States administration for allowing "too much unchecked UN-bashing and stereotyping". He stated that much of the political dialogue in the US about the UN had been abdicated to its most strident critics, such as conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News cable channel and, as a result of this, the true role and value of the UN has become "a mystery in Middle America". These remarks resulted in a backlash from the White House and some US conservative commentators, culminating in a call for an apology by the US envoy to the United Nations John Bolton. Bolton added to reporters, "I spoke to the secretary-general this morning, I said "I've known you since 1989 and I'm telling you this is the worst mistake by a senior U.N. official that I have seen in that entire time."

John Podesta and Richard C. Leone wrote that Bolton's comment "distorted Mr. Malloch Brown's remarks by calling them an attack on 'the American people', and ... by conflating Rush Limbaugh and Fox News with the American people. ... Mr. Malloch Brown had to break with the niceties of diplomatic tradition to plead for such leadership. ... Mr. Malloch Brown is surely correct: the people of the United States deserve better leadership and diplomacy to represent their interests in the world’s most important international body." Malloch Brown himself rejected the need to apologise, and received the support of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who said that his deputy's comments "should be read in the right spirit".

In July 2006, during the Israel-Hezbollah crisis in Lebanon, Malloch Brown said America should allow others to "share the lead" in solving the Lebanon crisis, and also advised that Britain adopt a lower profile in solving the crisis, lest the international community see the negotiations as being led by the same team that instigated the invasion of Iraq. These comments again drew criticism from some American officials, including the US State Department, a spokesman from which stated "We are seeing a troubling pattern of a high official of the UN who seems to be making it his business to criticize member states and, frankly, with misplaced and misguided criticisms."

Malloch Brown responded in an interview with PBS:

"I don't think the US has anything to object to in the comments. I was really in fact in the interview calling for the US to reach out to France and others to make sure it was demonstrating a broad multilateral coalition and within a single news cycle of my calling for that, it was doing it." He added "I may be prophetic but I wasn't critical".

When Bolton later announced his own resignation in early December, Malloch Brown made his delight clear, telling reporters "No comment – and you can say he said it with a smile".

UK Minister (2007–2009)

On 27 June 2007 it was announced that Malloch Brown was joining the Government of incoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with responsibility for Africa, Asia and the United Nations. It was also announced that Malloch Brown would receive a peerage to enable him to sit in the House of Lords; he was also appointed to the Privy Council. Plans for his appointment and peerage had been leaked to The Observer's Pendennis column in November 2006. At the time the Daily Telegraph said that he "While the aid agencies and liberals were still toasting the arrival of 'Saint Mark' to Whitehall, the neo-cons on both sides of the Atlantic were throwing darts at photographs of their devil. [He] divides opinion between those who see him as the great hope for Africa and a principled opponent of the war in Iraq, and those who believe that he is an anti-American egotist who defended Kofi Annan over the oil-for-food scandal."

Following the decision by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to refer the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi back for a second appeal against conviction, Dr Hans Köchler, UN-appointed international observer at the Lockerbie trial, wrote on 4 July 2007 to Malloch Brown reiterating his call for a "full and independent public inquiry of the Lockerbie case". Köchler addressed the letter also to First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, Foreign Secretary, David Miliband and Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith.

In November 2007, the conservative British magazine The Spectator drew some attention with its criticism of the Malloch Brown family's occupancy of a government-owned, so-called "grace and favour" apartment in London, previously used by the former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. On 18 November 2007 The Sunday Times fuelled the controversy by reporting that "some see the hand of Miliband behind the savaging of Malloch Brown in The Spectator".

On 7 July 2009, Lord Malloch Brown announced he was stepping down from his position as Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations at the end of July 2009, citing personal and family reasons.

Post-ministerial career

Malloch Brown was appointed chairman of global affairs for FTI Consulting in September 2010. Consultancy appointments to oil companies Vitol and SouthWest Energy Ltd (both approved by the relevant parliamentary committee) were reported in 2010.

Malloch Brown became chairman of the board of directors of SGO Corporation Limited, a holding company whose primary asset is the election technology and voting machine manufacturer Smartmatic, in 2014.

Styles and other honours

Styles of address

  • 1953–2007: Mr Mark Malloch Brown
  • 2007: Sir Mark Malloch Brown KCMG
  • 2007: The Rt Hon. The Lord Malloch-Brown KCMG
  • 2007–: The Rt Hon. The Lord Malloch-Brown KCMG PC

Other honours

  • Eminent member, Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation
  • Honorary Patron, University Philosophical Society, Trinity College, Dublin.
  • Honorary President, London International Model United Nations Foundation

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