Amara Essy

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Amara Essy
Amara Essy
Interim Chairman of the Commission of the African Union
In office
9 July 2002 – 16 September 2003
Preceded by Position established
Himself (as Secretary-general of the OAS)
Succeeded by Alpha Oumar Konaré
7th Secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity
In office
17 September 2001 – 9 July 2002
Preceded by Salim Ahmed Salim
Succeeded by Position abolished
Himself (as interim Chairman of the African Union)
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
20 September 1994 – September 1995
Preceded by Samuel Insanally
Succeeded by Diogo de Freitas do Amaral
Personal details
Born (1944-12-20) 20 December 1944 (age 73)
Bouake, Ivory Coast
Nationality Ivorian
Occupation Lawyer, diplomat and politician

Amara Essy (born 20 December 1944[1]) is a diplomat from Ivory Coast.

Early life and education

Essy was born in Bouake, Ivory Coast. He received a bachelor's degree in public law and a higher education diploma in public law as well.

Diplomatic career

Essy began his professional career in 1970 as head of economic relations in the office of technical and economic cooperation. A year later, he was named first counselor of the Ivorian embassy in Brazil. He also served as counselor of the permanent mission of Côte d'Ivoire to the United Nations in New York from 1973 to 1975. He later served as permanent representative of Côte d'Ivoire to the European office of the UN in Geneva and to UNIDO in Vienna, Austria from October 1975 to September 1978. He also served as president of the Group of 77 in Geneva from 1977 to 1978 and was later named ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Switzerland.[2] He was the Permanent Representative of Côte d'Ivoire to the United Nations from 1981 to 1990,[1] and in January 1990 he was President of the United Nations Security Council.[1][3] Simultaneously, he served as Ivorian ambassador to Argentina (1981-1983), Cuba (1988-1990). In 1990 he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, and while in that position he served as President of the 49th Session of the United Nations General Assembly from 1994 to 1995. In February 1996, he was elected the mayor of Kouassi-Datékro, serving until 2000. In 1998 he gained the rank of Minister of State from 1998 to 2000, while remaining Foreign Minister.[1] Along with other ministers, he was detained following the military coup of 24 December 1999, but he was released on 28 December.[4] He was replaced in the transitional government named on 4 January 2000.[5]

On 9 July 2001 he was elected secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Lusaka, Zambia, with the task of leading the OAU's transformation into the African Union over the course of one year.[6] He took office as secretary-general in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 17 September 2001.[7] Essy served in that position until 9 July 2002, when the OAU became the African Union and he was appointed as interim Chairman of the Commission of the African Union.[8]

Essy was initially a candidate for the post of Chairman of the Commission at the AU's July 2003 summit in Maputo, but he withdrew prior to the vote, leaving Alpha Oumar Konaré, the former President of Mali, as the only candidate.[9][10] Essy remained interim Chairman of the Commission until he was succeeded by Konaré on 16 September 2003.[11]

Essy is a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation (chaired by FW de Klerk) that works to support democratic leadership, prevent and resolve conflict through mediation and promote good governance in the form of democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law.


  1. ^ a b c d CV at Essy's website Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ K. Daddieh, Cyril (6 February 2016). Historical Dictionary of Cote d'Ivoire (The Ivory Coast). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 237. ISBN 9780810873896.
  3. ^ "Presidents of the Security Council: 1990–1999",
  4. ^ "Cote d'Ivoire: Junta releases half-dozen ex-ministers", AFP, 28 December 1999.
  5. ^ "Le gouvernement de transition de Côte d'Ivoire formé le 4 janvier 2000" Archived 25 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Afrique Express (in French).
  6. ^ "COTE D'IVOIRE: Amara Essy’s election celebrated", IRIN, 13 July 2001.
  7. ^ "AFRICA: New OAU head takes over", IRIN, 17 September 2001.
  8. ^ "Essy appointed interim AU commission chairman.", Xinhua (, 9 July 2002.
  9. ^ "Profile: Konare, chairman of African Union Commission", Xinhua (, 10 July 2003.
  10. ^ "Sommet de l’Union Africaine: Le Malien Alpha Oumar Konaré élu président de la Commission" Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine., Afrique Express, N° 274, 16 July 2003 (in French).
  11. ^ "AFRICA: Former Malian president takes over as AU chair", IRIN, 17 September 2003.
Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Samuel Insanally
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Diogo Freitas do Amaral
New office Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Succeeded by
Alpha Oumar Konaré
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