Speakers and Bios

Nejib Friji

Nejib Friji was appointed as Director of the International Peace Institute (IPI) The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) in January 2015.

Before joining IPI, Mr Nejib Friji was the Director of UN Information Centre (UNIC), Manama, serving Gulf countries since 16 March 2006.

In the course of his UN Career, Mr Friji has also served as a Spokesman and media advisor on several occasions such as Spokesperson and media advisor to the UN Special Envoy for Western Sahara, Peter Von Walsum during his first visit to Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Polisario Headquarters, Spain and France before reporting to the Security Council (2005-2006), Spokesman and media adviser of the UN Envoy for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559, Terje Rod-Larsen who supervised the withdrawal of the Syrian armed  forces from Lebanon (2005), and Spokesman for the United Nations during the war in Iraq, heading the UN daily briefing in Amman, Jordan (2003) to name a few.

From 1991-1994, Mr Friji served as the Chief of the UN Information Service for the ESCWA countries (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and Egypt), was instrumental in establishing the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Sanaa, Yemen and subsequently served as the Director of the center from 1994-1998 and finally served as the Director of the UNIC Beirut, serving Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) from 1998-2006 before taking charge of the UNIC in Manama, Bahrain.

In 1989, Mr Friji started his career with the United Nations as the UN Information Officer at the UN Headquarters, New York, USA where he worked in the Media Coverage Section of the UN Department of Public Information (DPI).

Mr Friji began his career in the year 1982 as a journalist covering the European Union, The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) and Belgium for various newspapers.

Mr Friji holds a degree in Master Studies in English Political and Social Studies of the English speaking countries from the New Castle University in UK and a BA in Political Science in English from the University of Paris.

In 2019, late Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi nominated Mr. Friji for the decoration of the National Diplomatic Distinction Award that was bestowed to him by Interim President Mohamed Ennaceur on 2 August, 2019.

Nejib Friji