The Italian Almanac

Lamberto Zannier

A New head

Italian career diplomat Lamberto Zannier became head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Zannier, 57, the UN's special representative to Kosovo since 2008, takes over as secretary-general from Marc Perrin de Brichimbaut of France, whose term has ended.

The Italian, who previously headed the Vienna-based OSCE's Conflict Resolution Centre, emerged earlier this month as the consensus candidate to become the new executive of the 56-member security and human rights organization. Other candidates for the post were Ursula Plassnik, a former Austrian foreign minister; Portugal's Joao Soares, a former head of the OSCE parliamentary assembly; and Turkish diplomat Ersin Ercin.

Plassnik's candidacy faltered because of objections from Turkey after Austria's lack of support for its European Union