With a foreword by Martti Ahtisaari (Peace Nobel Prize Laureate 2008). The author has been the Special Representative of the Secretary general and head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the largest civilian peacekeeping mission in UN history, through the decisive period from September 2006 to June 2008. Before that, Joachim Ruecker was Deputy Special Representative and head of the Economic Reconstruction pillar of UNMIK. Prior to joining UNMIK, he served in a variety of international and national posts including as Deputy High Representative in Sarajevo and for almost a decade as mayor of the industrial city of Sindelfingen in southern Germany. Mr. Ruecker, who holds a PhD in international economics, is also a German Ambassador and continues to hold various postings with the German Foreign. Service. He began his engagement with the Balkans during this tenure as foreign policy advisor to the Social Dempcratic parliamentary group in the German Bundestag in the early 1990s.