Jean Arnault (born in 1951 in France) is the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Colombia and Head of the UN Mission in Colombia, established by the Security Council in January 2016 to verify implementation of the Agreement on the Definitive and Bilateral Ceasefire and Cessation of Hostilities and Laying down of Arms signed by the Government of Colombia and the "Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo" (FARC-EP) on 24 June 2016.
Prior to this appointment, Mr Arnault was the UN Secretary-General's Delegate to the Sub-Commission on End of Conflict issues in the Colombia Peace Talks, in which he served from August 2015 to April 2016.
From November 2014 to June 2015 he was a member of the High-Level Panel on Peace Operations appointed by the UN Secretary-General to review and make recommendations on UN field operations in the areas of prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and peacekeeping.
From 2011 to 2013 he was Professor of Practice at the Paris School of International Affairs Sciences Po Paris , where he taught International Mediation and the Settlement of Civil Wars
He previously served as United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Democratic Pakistan from 2008 to 2009; Special Representative of the Secretary General in Georgia and Head of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) from 2006 to 2008; Special Representative of the Secretary General in Afghanistan and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2004 to 2006, where he was also Deputy in 2002-2003. He served as Representative of the Secretary General for Burundi and Head of the UN Office in Burundi (UNOB) from 2000 to 2001; and Special Representative of the Secretary General for Guatemala and Head of the UN verification mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) from 1997 to 2000. He was Observer and then Mediator in the Guatemala peace negotiations from 1992 to 1996, when the Guatemalan Peace Accords were signed; and Senior Political Affairs Officer in Namibia, Afghanistan and Western Sahara from 1989 to 1991.
Arnault studied Philosophy, Linguistics and Political Science and graduated in Philosophy from University of Sorbonne-Paris I. He holds a postgraduate diploma in conference interpretation from the Polytechnic of Central London-University of Westminster. In 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Studies at Princeton University where he focused on lessons for mediators from peace processes in the 90s. See "Good Agreement, Bad Agreement? an Implementation Perspective, 2001" 
He is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Centre on International Cooperation of New York University, a member of the Council of the University for Peace (UPeace) headquartered in Costa Rica, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (New York).