Olara Otunnu

Olara A. Otunnu is a Ugandan politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He was President of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), a political party, from 2010 to 2015 and stood as the party's candidate in the 2011 presidential election.[1] Otunnu was Uganda's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1980 to 1985 and served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1986. Later, he was President of the International Peace Academy from 1990[2] to 1998,[3] and he was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict from 1997[2] to 2005.[4]


Otunnu was born in Mucwini, among the Chua people of the Central Luo.


He received his early education at Mvara, Mucwini, and Anaka primary schools. He received his secondary education at Gulu High School and King's College Budo.[5] He then attended Makerere University (where he was president of the Students' Guild), Oxford University (where he was Overseas Scholar), and Harvard Law School[6] (where he was a Fulbright Scholar).


Otunnu was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict on 19 August 1997, taking office on 1 September 1997.[2]

Otunnu ran in 2010 to succeed Miria Obote, wife of former President Milton Obote, as president of the UPC. On 14 May, he defeated her son, Jimmy Akena, at a UPC delegates conference.[1] UPC nominated him in November 2010 as its presidential candidate.[1] On election day in 2011, however, he refused to vote, even for himself.[1] He received 1.58 percent of the vote.[7]

Awards and nominations

Otunnu has received several major International awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from the United Nations Association of the United States of America (2001); German Africa Prize (2002); the Sydney Peace Prize (2005); and the Global Award for Outstanding Contribution to Human Rights (India, 2006). In 2007, he received the Harvard Law School Association Award, presented[8] by its president[9] Jay H. Hebert and Elena Kagan (an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States).[10]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Edris Kiggundu, "How Otunnu lost control of UPC", The Observer, 6 March 2015, accessed 29 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "Olara A. Otunnu (Cote d'Ivoire), Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict", United Nations press release, SG/A/655, BIO/3110, 10 October 1997.
  3. "2005 Sydney Peace Prize awarded to United Nations Advocate for Children", University of Sydney, 9 May 2005.
  4. "Annan compliments departing Olara Otunnu for raising profile of children in war", UN Daily News, issue DH/4447, 1 August 2005.
  5. "Profile: Olara Otunnu". BBC: Profiles. BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 May 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  6. "Olara Otunnu receives Harvard Law School Association Award". News & Events. June 14, 2007. Harvard Law School. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  7. Election for President, Republic of Uganda, 18 February 2011, Election Guide - International Foundation for Electoral Systems, accessed 30 June 2015
  8. Kagan, Elena. "Questionnaire For Nominee for the Supreme Court" (PDF). Bipartisan questionnaire by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  9. Hébert, Jay H. "Report of the President, 2006–2008". Speech. Harvard Law School Association. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
  10. "Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court – Elena Kagan". Nominations & Confirmations. United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Retrieved 8 November 2011.

External links

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