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APPOINTMENTS AND DEPARTURES

This page was updated on: 01/13/10

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NOVEMBER

 

RICHARD KINLEY CONFIRMED AS UNFCCC DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Richard Kinley has been confirmed as the UN Climate Change Secretariat’s Deputy Executive Secretary. The Secretary of the Conference of the Parties since 1996, Kinley was also Officer-in Charge of the Secretariat from September 2005 following the passing of former Executive Secretary Joke Waller-Hunter, until the arrival of Yvo de Boer in September 2006. Kinley had also served as Acting Deputy Executive Secretary since 1 August 2003. The confirmation of his Deputy position, which was announced by Yvo de Boer at the close of COP/MOP 2 on 19 November, was warmly applauded by delegates. IISD sources.

 

OCTOBER

 

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPOINTS NEXT SECRETARY GENERAL
The UN General Assembly appointed Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea as the UN’s next Secretary-General. He will succeed Kofi Annan, who steps down on 31 December 2006. The Assembly’s selection by acclamation came on 13 October 2006. Following his selection, Ban pledged to carry out reforms and build on Annan’s legacy.
UN News Focus on Secretary-General-Designate.

 

BAN KI-MOON LEADS RACE TO HEAD UN
Straw polls taken in the UN Security Council suggest that South Korea’s Ban Ki-Moon could become the next United Nations Secretary-General. He is currently the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Current UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s term expires at the end of 2006. UNSGselection.org news story (2 October 2006).

 

SEPTEMBER

 

JULIA MARTON-LEFEVRE NEW IUCN DIRECTOR
Assuming her duties on 1 January 2007, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, an expert in development and conservation issues, has been appointed Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Marton-Lefèvre is the current Rector of the University of Peace in Costa Rica, and has been the Executive Director of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International, Executive Director of the International Council for Science, and Vice Chair of the World Resources Institute. She succeeds Achim Steiner, who left to take the Executive Director’s post at UNEP in June 2006. IUCN news release (19 September 2006).

 

HANS VEROLME APPOINTED WWF CLIMATE CHIEF
Hans Verolme, a Dutch National, has been appointed to head WWF’s Global Climate Change programme. Currently in charge of the climate change programme at WWF US, he succeeds Jennifer Morgan in the international programme. WWF announcement (14 September 2006).

 

ALISON DRAYTON NAMED NEW HEAD OF UNDP UN AFFAIRS DIVISION
Alison Drayton has been named the new Director of UNDP’s Division for UN Affairs in New York. She was previously the Deputy Director of the Division. Prior to joining UNDP, she was Counselor in the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN, with responsibility for the Second, Fifth and Sixth Committees of the General Assembly as well as UN Reform. She also coordinated the Group of 77 on sustainable development issues during Guyana’s chairing of the G77 in 1999, and was a Vice-Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in 2000 (IISD sources).

 

NEW REGIONAL FOREST COORDINATOR NAMED
Bastiaan Louman has been appointed to the position of Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)-Special Programme for Developing Countries. The position is jointly established with CATIE (Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Enseñenza), and is based in Costa Rica. IUFRO announcement (13 September 2006)
.

 

AUGUST

 

PETER CSOKA DEPARTS UNFF
After two years of service with the UNFF Secretariat, Peter Csoka will resume his duties as Director-General of the State Forest Service of Hungary.

 

Link to further information
UNFF newsletter (July/August 2006)

 

LEE KIMBALL RETIRES FROM OCEAN POLICY WORK
Lee Kimball, who worked with IUCN over three decades, has decided to retire from ocean policy. She was a member of the Commission on Environmental Law and Advisor for GMP on Ocean Governance and International Institutions.

 

Link to further information
GMP News, page 12 (August 2006)

 

JENNIFER MORGAN DEPARTS WWF CLIMATE GROUP
After eight years as Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme, Jennifer Morgan is to join a new group, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), to head up their climate work. Morgan has been seconded from WWF to E3G for two years.

 

Link to further information
WWF news story (7 September 2006)

 

YVO DE BOER NAMED NEW UN CLIMATE CHIEF
Yvo de Boer has been appointed as the new Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat. A 52-year old Dutch national, he has held a number of government and United Nations posts. Most recently, he was Director of International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. He has been a negotiator at UN climate change negotiations since 1996, and was also a Vice-Chair at the fourteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2006. The appointment, announced by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 10 August, ends many months of speculation over who would succeed the late Joke Waller-Hunter, who passed away in October 2005. Since that time, the Secretary of the UN Climate Convention’s Conference of the Parties, Richard Kinley, has been acting as the Officer-in-Charge of the Secretariat. Mr. de Boer will take up his new post on 4 September 2006.

 

Link to further information
UN press release (10 August 2006)

 

DAVID UNTERHALTER APPOINTED TO WTO APPELATE BODY
On 31 July 2006, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body appointed David Unterhalter of South Africa to the seven-member Appellate Body to replace the late John Lockhart, who passed away in January.

 

Link to further information
WTO website

 

JULY

 

ANNA TIBAIJUKA RE-ELECTED UN-HABITAT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka has been re-elected by the General Assembly Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT for another term of four years. Her nomination by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan took place on 28 June 2006. Her current term expires on 31 August 2006 and the new one runs until 31 August 2010.

 

Link to further information
UN-HABITAT web site

 

JUNE

 

NEW WORLD BANK GENERAL COUNSEL NAMED
Ana Palacio, a Spanish national, has been appointed to serve as the World Bank Group’s General Counsel. Ms. Palacio, a former member of the European Parliament and foreign minister of Spain under President Aznar, will also serve as Secretary General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

 

Link to further information
World Bank press release, 16 June 2006

 

WOMEN’S ANTI-DISCRIMINATION MONITORING COMMITTEE ELECTED
On 23 June 2006, States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women elected 12 of the 23 experts that serve on the Committee that monitors States’ compliance with the Convention (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women). The 12 experts, to serve in their individual capacities, would begin four-year terms on 1 January 2007, replacing the 12 experts whose terms would expire on 31 December 2006. To preside over the fourteenth Meeting of States Parties, the Committee then elected Andreas Mavroyiannis (Cyprus) as Chairperson, as well as the following three Vice-Chairpersons: Meshak Kitchen (Zimbabwe) from the group of African States; Birute Abraitiene (Lithuania) from the group of Eastern European States; and Sean McDonald (Ireland) from the group of Western European and other States.

 

Link to further information
UN news announcement (23 June 2006)

 

GEF COUNCIL MEETING ELECTS NEW GEF CEO
The GEF Council has elected Monique Barbut as its new CEO. A French national, she is the current Director of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics and will succeed Leonard Good, who is retiring in July 2006, at the GEF.

 

Link to further information
GEF Press release, 9 June 2006

 

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT, COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, the Legal Counsel to the Royal Family of Bahrain, has been elected President of the 61st General Assembly session. She becomes the third woman who will hold the post and the first elected since 1969.

Meanwhile, several UN Committees have elected new chairs. The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) elected Tiina Intelmann (Estonia) as Chair, with Prayono Atiyanto (Indonesia), Aboubacar Sadikh Barry (Senegal), and Benedito Fonseca Filho (Brazil) as Vice-Chairs. The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) elected Hamid Al Bayati (Iraq) as Chair, with Jorge Ballesteros (Costa Rica), Lamin Faati (the Gambia) and Sergei A. Rachkov (Belarus) as Vice-Chairs, and Elena Molaroni (San Marino) as Rapporteur.

Link to further information
UN news release (8 June 2006)

 

UK APPOINTS “CLIMATE AMBASSADOR”
The UK has appointed career diplomat John Ashton as its special representative on climate change. Ashton has a headed the Foreign Office’s Environment, Science and Energy department. BBC News article, 8 June 2006

 

The announcement follows a recent decision by the New Zealand government to appointment Adrian Macey as its first climate ambassador. Macey most recently represented his government as the ambassador to France and permanent representative to the OECD (IISD sources).

 

FRANCES SEYMOUR APPOINTED AS NEW DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF CIFOR
Frances Seymour has been appointed the next Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research. Ms Seymour is currently Director of the Institutions and Governance Program of the World Resources Institute. She will replace David Kaimowitz who will soon step down after five years as Director General.

 

Link to further information
More information (9 June 2006)

 

MAY

 

FOUR ADDITIONAL CANDIDATES NAMED FOR TOP UN CLIMATE JOB; TWO OTHERS WITHDRAW
Four further candidates for the post of Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have been named, while two of the five previously-listed candidates have withdrawn their names from consideration.

 

In March 2006, five candidates were named on the UN Secretary-General’s original shortlist. However, no final decision was taken, and in late May 2006 the Secretary-General announced that four additional candidates would be interviewed: Sálvano J. Briceño (Venezuela), the director of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction secretariat; Luis Gylvan Meira (Brazil), professor at the University of Sao Paulo’s Institute for Advanced Studies; Richard James Kinley (Canada), Officer-in-Charge of the UNFCCC; and Leela Krishnamurthy Ponappa (India), Ambassador of India to the Netherlands. John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda and Luis Gomez Echeverri of Colombia – two of the candidates shortlisted in March – have recently withdrawn their candidacies.

 

Links to further information
United Nations News, 26 May 2006

IISD Reporting Services website

 

JAN ERIK HEINO TO HEAD FAO FORESTRY DEPARTMENT
Jan Erik Heino of Finland has been appointed the new Head of the Forestry Department at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He is a former Director-General of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Finland, and currently Director-General of Metsahallitus, the Finnish State Forest Enterprise. He will take up his new appointment on 29 June 2006.

 

Link to further information
More information (29 May 2006)

 

MARY FISHER TO BE UNAIDS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE
Mary Davis Fisher, a prominent US-based writer, artist and motivational speaker who travels around the world advocating for those who share her HIV-positive status, has been appointed as Special Representative for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

 

Link to further information
UNAIDS news release, 18 May 2006

 

HEAD OF CENTER FOR EARTH SCIENCE INFORMATION NETWORK STEPS DOWN
Roberta Balstad has stepped down as director of Columbia University’s Center for Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). She had led the organization since 1993. Robert S. Chen has been appointed acting director. More information (1 May 2006).

 

Link to further information
CIESIN Columbia University website

 

HEAD OF CENTER FOR EARTH SCIENCE INFORMATION NETWORK STEPS DOWN
Roberta Balstad has stepped down as director of Columbia University’s Center for Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). She had led the organization since 1993. Robert S. Chen has been appointed acting director. More information (1 May 2006).

 

Link to further information
CIESIN Columbia University website

 

APRIL

 

GLOBAL COMPACT BOARD APPOINTED
Twenty business, labor and civil society leaders have been named by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to serve on the first Board of the Global Compact, the UN voluntary initiative to advance corporate responsibility to fight corruption, promote human rights and ensure environmental sustainability. The Board includes ten businesses, four business associations and labor groups, and four civil society organizations. It will provide strategic advice to the Global Compact and its stakeholders.

 

Link to further information
UN news, 20 April 2006

 

New GEF Council Members NAMED
GEF announced the list of new Council Members including Raphael Peter Kabwaza (Malawi); Dhanendra Kumar (India), Mauricio Montalvo (Ecuador) and Kenneth L. Peel (US).

Link to further information
GEF notification on new focal points and alternate members, April 2006

MARCH

KLAUS TÖPFER STEPS DOWN AS UNEP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Klaus Töpfer has concluded his eight-year tenure as the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on 31 March 2005. His successor, Achim Steiner, currently Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), will start his term of office on 15 June 2006. In the interim period, UNEP’s Deputy Executive Director, Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan), will serve as acting Executive Director.

Link to further information
UNEP press release, 31 March 2006

PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD WATER COUNCIL RE-ELECTED
Loïc Fauchon has been re-elected for a three-year term as president of the Board of Governors of the World Water Council. A French national, Fauchon assumed the Presidency in March 2005, and is one of the Council’s founding members.

Link to further information
World Water Coucil press release, 19 March 2006

Olivier Deleuze to head UNEP’s GEF Division
Following the recent departure of Ahmed Djoglaf to head the Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Olivier Deleuze (Belgium), who previously served as Policy Advisor to the Executive Director of UNEP and as the organization's head of the Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch, will head UNEP’s GEF Division.

Link to further information
GEF announcement, March 2006

ACHIM STEINER NAMED AS UNEP EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Achim Steiner, the current Director-General of IUCN-the World Conservation Union (IUCN), has been appointed as the next Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). On 15 March 2006, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced Steiner’s nomination as the next UNEP head, and the General Assembly unanimously elected Steiner as UNEP’s fifth Executive Director the following day. A German national, Steiner will be given a four-year term, effective from 15 June 2006
to 14 June 2010. Commenting in the General Assembly, the G-77/China congratulated Achim Steiner on his appointment, and noted that, while the regional groups had been informed, they had not been consulted on the appointment. Current UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer extended his congratulations to Steiner, commenting that this appointment “will prove to be a great decision bringing youth, dynamism, intellect and a deeply held commitment to environment and sustainable development issues.”

Prior to his tenure as IUCN Director-General, Achim Steiner served as the head of the World Commission on Dams, the chief technical advisor of a programme for sustainable management of Mekong River watersheds, and as Senior Policy Advisor of IUCN’s Global Policy Unit.

Links to further information
UN press release, 15 March 2006
General Assembly press release, 16 March 2006
UNEP press release, 16 March 2006

FINALISTS FOR TOP UN CLIMATE POST ANNOUNCED
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced a shortlist of five candidates who are in the running to be the next Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The finalists are:
 

  • John W. Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the UN;
  • Yvo de Boer, Director for International Affairs with the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment of the Netherlands;
  • Luis Gomez Echeverri of Colombia, who is Deputy Assistant Administrator with UNDP;
  • Miklós Persányi, Hungary’s Minister for the Environment and Water; and
  • Simon Upton, a former New Zealand Environment Minister and now chair of the OECD’s Round Table on Sustainable Development.

However, additional candidates who were shortlisted for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director’s vacancy may also be considered. In particular, there has been speculation that Rajendra Pachauri of India, who was shortlisted for the UNEP position, might be considered for the UNFCCC post. Pachauri is the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The previous UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Joke Waller-Hunter, passed away in October 2005. Her deputy, Richard Kinley, has been Acting Head of the UNFCCC for the past six months.

Link to further information
UN announcement, 16 March 2006

NEW DEVELOPMENT OFFICER AT RAMSAR REGIONAL CENTER
Carolina Hoyos has been appointed as Institutional Development Officer at the Ramsar Regional Center for Training and Research on Wetlands in the Western Hemisphere (CREHO). Before joining CREHO, she worked in communications and fundraising in projects for tsunami relief within the United Nations Volunteer Programme in Sri Lanka and in marketing and communications for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) based in Germany and México.  

Link to further information
Ramsar press release, March 2006

STAFF CHANGES AT UN NON-GOVERNMENTAL LIAISON SERVICE
The UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) has announced several recent staff changes in its New York office. Elisa Peter has been appointed Deputy Coordinator and Chief of the UN-NGLS New York office. She has previously worked for several NGOs and as a policy analyst with FAO. The previous Deputy Coordinator was Zehra Aydin-Sipos. NGLS has its main office in Geneva.  

Link to further information
UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service
, March 2006

AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK APPOINTS NEW VICE PRESIDENTS, SECRETARY GENERAL
The President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, has announced the appointments of four new Vice Presidents and the Secretary General of the institution. Joseph B. Eichenberger of the US is the new Vice President of Planning Policy and Research and Zeinab Bashir El Bakri of the Sudan is VP of Operations for the West and Central Africa Region. South African Mandla Sizwe Vulindlela Gantsho is to be VP of Operations for the North, East and South Africa Region, while Arunma Oteh of the UK is to be VP, Corporate Management. Modibo Toure of Mali was named as the new Secretary General.  

Link to further information
Press release, 1 March 2006

NEW UNFPA DEPUTY DIRECTOR NAMED
Mari Simonen (Finland) has been appointed Deputy Executive Director, External Relations, UN Affairs and Management, of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Simonen’s role will involve a focus on UN reforms in particular. Simonen has worked as the Director of UNFPA’s Technical Support Division since November 1999, and previously as the Chief of the Office of UNFPA Executive Director.

Link to further information
United Nations web site,
March 2006

ANNAN NAMES MARK MALLOCH BROWN NEW DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL; IBARRA BECOMES CHIEF OF STAFF
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has announced several new appointments among his senior staff, including the appointment of Mark Malloch Brown as Deputy Secretary-General. Malloch Brown’s appointment, which was announced on 1 March 2006, is designed to ensure that the UN Secretariat will be able to carry out the full agenda remaining during Annan’s term, which ends on 31 December 2006. Malloch Brown, who is from the UK, is currently the UN Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff, and from 1999 to the end of 2004 was the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

As well as the new Deputy Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has named Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico as Acting Chief of Staff in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Her appointment would take effect upon the departure of the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, and Mark Malloch Brown’s assumption of his new duties as Deputy Secretary-General.

In addition, Vijay Nambiar of India has been named Special Adviser with the rank of Under-Secretary-General, while Larry D. Johnson of the U.S will become the next Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs. Johnson, who is currently a professor at New York University, will begin in his new role on 1 May 2006. He succeeds Ralph Zacklin.

The changes at the top of the UN hierarchy came just days before a new report by Kofi Annan calling for a “radical overhaul” of UN management structure and practices.

Links to further information
UN Press Release on Mark Malloch Brown, 3 March 2006

UN press release on Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, 3 March 2006
UN press release on Vijary Nambiar, 3 March 2006
UN press release on Larry Johnson, 7 March 2006

SHORTLIST FOR UNEP’S NEXT DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has revealed the shortlist of selected candidates for the position of Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The list, which was announced on 1 March 2006, includes: Borge Brende, Norway’s former Environment Minister; Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Echandi, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica; Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan), UNEP Deputy Executive Director; Rajendra Pachauri (India), Director-General of the Energy and Resource Institute; and Achim Steiner (Germany), who is currently Director-General of IUCN-the World Conservation Union.
After informally canvassing the views of the environmental community, a panel of senior UN officials, including an outside expert, will interview the candidates and refer the finalists to the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for the final interview. The Secretary-General will then forward the name of his recommended candidate for appointment for a four-year term. The new Executive Director will succeed to Klaus Töpfer (Germany), whose tenure as the head of UNEP began in February 1998 and will draw to a close on the 31 March 2006.

The Secretary-General has also noted that, given the similarities between the UNEP position and the vacant position as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the eligibility of some of the candidates for both, the Secretary-General might conclude that one of the candidates interviewed for UNEP is more suitable for UNFCCC or vice versa and, therefore, make the appointment to that post in consultation with the Bureau of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties.

Links to further information
UN Press Release, 1 March 2006
UN Secretary-General Press Release, 3 March 2006
Web India news story, 2 March 2006

NEW RAMSAR SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REVIEW PANEL APPOINTED
The scientific and technical review panel (STRP) is a subsidiary body of the Ramsar Convention, providing scientific and technical guidance to the Conference of the Parties, the Standing Committee and the Ramsar secretariat. The Convention’s STRP Oversight Committee has now appointed the members of the STRP for the triennium 2006-2008. Heather Mackay (South Africa), the Vice Chair from 2003-2005, was appointed Chair of the Panel, and Rebecca D’Cruz of Malaysia was named Vice Chair. Ramsar press briefing. List of the committee members.

PETER SCHEI TO BECOME CMS AMBASSADOR
Peter Schei, an experienced negotiator on biodiversity issues and current Chair of BirdLife International and Director of the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen Institute, has been named as the next Convention on Migratory Species Ambassador. More information.

SENIOR BIOSAFETY OFFICER LEAVES CBD SECRETARIAT
Cyrie Sendashonga, Senior Programme Officer for Biosafety, has left the CBD Secretariat after more than seven years’ service. More information.

FEBRUARY

NEW DIRECTOR NAMED AT UNESCO INSTITUTE OF STATISTICS
Hendrik van der Pol of the Netherlands has been appointed as the new Director of UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics in Québec, Canada. Currently the representative of the UN Population Fund in India, he will be joining UNESCO in April 2006. UNESCO press release, 22 February 2006.

 

JANUARY

 

WORLD BANK INVESTMENT DISPUTE LEADER STEPS DOWN
The Secretary General of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Roberto Danino, is to leave his World Bank position at the end of February 2006. The former President of Peru joined the World Bank in 2003. According to news reports, his departure follows disputes over new Bank President Paul Wolfowitz’s recent appointments and management style. IISD’s Investment Treaty News, 31 January 2006.

 

NEW UNEP CHEMICALS BRANCH CHIEF APPOINTED
Maged Younes has been appointed as the new Head of the UNEP Chemicals Branch in Geneva. Dr. Younes, has worked at the Institute of Toxicology, Medical University of Lübeck and was also qualified as an Expert in Toxicology through the German Society of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He was then nominated Head of the Biochemical Toxicology Unit at the Max von Pettenkofer-Institute of the German Federal Health Office in Berlin. He was the responsible manager for the European Chemical Safety Programme of the World Health Organization at the Bilthoven Division of the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health. Maged has also served as the Chief of the Assessment of Risks and Methodologies at the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS).

 

WTO NAMES CHAIRPERSONS FOR 2006
The World Trade Organization has appointed its Chairpersons for 2006. The appointments, which were agreed on 8 February, mean the TRIPs Council will be chaired by C. Trevor Clarke (Barbados); the Committee on Trade and environment by Shree Baboo Chekitan Servansing (Mauritius); and the Special Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment by Toufiq Ali (Bangladesh). Full list of chairpersons.

 

NEW UNDP ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR APPOINTED
On 17 January 2006, Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Ad Melkert (Netherlands) to serve as the Under-Secretary-General and the Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), starting on 1 March 2006. UNDP press release, 17 January 2006.

 

SPECULATION MOUNTS OVER TOP UN POSTS
Speculation over who will be appointed to several high-profile UN vacancies is mounting. In the next few weeks and months, announcements are expected on a new Executive Director to replace Klaus Töpfer at the UN Environment Programme. Töpfer is scheduled to depart at the end of March. Also,
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette recently resigned to take up a position back in Canada. Another high profile position is that of Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, following the passing of the previous incumbent, Joke Waller-Hunter, in October 2005. Finally, the top UN post of Secretary-General will be vacant from January 2007, when Kofi Annan is expected to leave office.

On the UNEP race, a number of candidates have been the subject of speculation, including Norway’s Minister for the Environment, Børge Brende, and Shafqat Kakakhel of Pakistan, UNEP’s current Deputy Director. Other names discussed include Juan Mayr, Colombia’s former Environment Minister, as well as candidates from Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Myanmar, India, Antigua and Barbuda, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the UK. Sources suggest that Valli Moosa, South Africa’s former Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, who has also been mentioned in some circles, is not running for the post.

Most commentators believe it is too early to speculate on a possible successor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan when he leaves office in January 2007. However, several Asian candidates have been touted as possible contenders, not least because it is generally considered to be the region’s “turn” to fill the top UN post. Sri Lankan diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala and Thailand's Foreign Minister, Surakiart Sathirathai, are both known to be interested in the position. Candidates from South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore have also been mentioned, while several eastern European candidates have been rumored. Former U.S President Bill Clinton has also been mentioned, although some sources have noted various political and diplomatic barriers to his taking the role. Meanwhile, a recent report has called for the next Secretary-General to be a woman, with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark among those suggested. (IISD Sources, January 2006).


SOUTH AFRICA TAKES OVER AS G-77 CHAIR; AUSTRIA ASSUMES EU PRESIDENCY

South Africa has taken over from Jamaica as Chair of the Group of 77. A handover ceremony was held at UN headquarters in New York on 12 January 2006. More information. Meanwhile, Austria has assumed the presidency of the European Union. More information.

 

ALI HACHANI ELECTED PRESIDENT OF ECOSOC FOR 2006

Ali Hachani of Tunisia has been elected President of the UN Economic and Social Council for 2006. He succeeds Munir Akram of Pakistan. More information, January 2006.

 

PETER SUTHERLAND APPOINTED SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR MIGRATION

Peter Sutherland, a former EU Commission and current Chair of BP, has been named as the UN�s Special Representtive to assist in the preparation of the high-level dialogue on international migration and development in September 2006. More information, January 2006.

 

If you would like to submit details of
recent appointments or departures,
send a message to
Diego Noguera, IISD

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