From October 1998 to July 1999 he served as the European Union’s Special Envoy for Kosovo and in February and March 1999 as the European Union’s Chief Negotiator at the Kosovo peace talks in Rambouillet and Paris. Petritsch’s diplomatic career also has seen him serve in Paris and New York.
Prior to his appointment as Austria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Petritsch served between August 1999 and May 2002 as the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this role, Petritsch was the final authority on civilian implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement. While living in Bosnia and Herzegovina – one of the most mine-infested countries in the world – Petritsch witnessed firsthand the humanitarian impact of anti-personnel mines.
In September 2003, Petritsch, Austria’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, was elected President-Designate of the Mine Ban Convention’s First Review Conference. In this role, Petritsch is charged with leading the substantive preparations for the Nairobi Summit, including the development of a concrete action plan to complete the job of eliminating anti-personnel mines.
He is currently serving as chair of the Board of the European Cultural Foundation.
Petritsch holds a PhD from the University of Vienna and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Petritsch’s reflections on international affairs have been published extensively in the world’s leading newspapers and he is the author or co-author of several books, including most recently
Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Dayton to Europe
The Long Road to Peace: Kosovo and the International Community, 1989-2004.