Former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. He graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He resigned from the UN in 1998 because of his public opposition to the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq which have been responsible for the deaths of several hundred thousand people.
Halliday began his career with the United Nations in 1964, after working for a year as a Quaker volunteer in Kenya. He served first in Teheran, Iran, and then in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York, and later in Malaysia as Deputy Regional Representative of the Asia Bureau until 1977. He returned to New York in 1981 and served in the UNDP until becoming Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources in 1994.
He was appointed humanitarian coordinator in Iraq in September 1997 by Secretary-General Kofi Annan . During his time at this position the oil revenues allowed under the Oil for Food Program (Security Council Resolution 986) were more than doubled. He resigned from his position and from the UN altogether in October 1998, denouncing the economic sanctions being imposed on the country, saying they did more to strengthen the government of Saddam Hussein than to hinder it.
"I can find no legitimate justification for sustaining economic sanctions under these circumstances. To do so in my view is to disregard the high principles of the United Nation's Charter, the Convention of Human Rights, the very moral leadership and the credibility of the United Nations itself."
Iraq Action Coalition. http://iraqaction.org
Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/halliday.