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Biography

Sofia has over 20 years of experience in international diplomacy, peace-making and peacebuilding. She formerly held senior positions with the United Nations: in Political Affairs in New York, peace support mission in Nepal (UNMIN), at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and with the World Bank in Southeast Asia.

She has extensive practical experience from mediation support and peace-making roles ranging from assisting UN envoys in shuttle diplomacy to designing and implementing training workshops for armed forces and rebel groups.

For over a decade Sofia lived and worked in Myanmar, where she spearheaded the Beyond Ceasefires Initiative, providing critical policy advice and track 1.5 mediation support on issues ranging from confidence building measures, peace process design, DDR and SSR, and connected Myanmar parties on all sides of the conflict with carefully selected top mediators and peace negotiators from around the world.

Sofia is the Executive Director of U Thant House, one of Myanmar’s leading research, education and discussion centres, which over the years has managed to bring together top-level Myanmar policy makers, politicians, civil society, business and youth leaders from across the political spectrum for dialogues and exchanges on some of the most pressing challenges of peace, tolerance and sustainable development.

Prior to her international public service, she worked as a journalist. Sofia studied at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and Uppsala University and obtained Master and Bachelor degrees from Uppsala University’s Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Sofia is a member of U Thant House.

 

Research Interests

  • Conflict resolution, peacemaking, mediation
  • United Nations Secretary-General’s ‘Good Offices’
  • Political Transitions
  • Post conflict peacebuilding, DDR and SSR

Sofia is currently working on updating her book A Good Office? 20 years of UN mediation in Myanmar. (New York: International Peace Institute, 2012) to include new chapters on the 10 years that have passed since it was first published.

The book tells the story of UN’s mediation efforts in Myanmar through the lens of three consecutive special envoys and examines the various strategies and achievements since the establishment of the office by a UN General Assembly mandate in 1993.

She will also be looking at other UN mediation efforts as well as comparative political transitions with the aim to and draw lessons for Myanmar and, more broadly, for the UN and international mediation efforts.

 

Publications

Busch, Sofia (aka Anna Magnusson) and Pedersen, Morten: A Good Office? 20 years of UN mediation in Myanmar. (New York: International Peace Institute, 2012), ISBN: 0-937722-87-1 ISBN-13: 978-0-937722-87-9