UN chief names choices for top UN environments posts

2016-05-04 12:51
Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim in Olso. (Anette Karlsen , Scanpix Norway AFP)

Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim in Olso. (Anette Karlsen , Scanpix Norway AFP)

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New York - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Norway's former environment and development minister Erik Solheim to head the UN environment agency and announced his choice of Mexican ambassador Patricia Espinosa Cantellano for the UN's top post to tackle climate change.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced Solheim's appointment on Tuesday and Ban's intention to appoint Espinosa as executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change after consulting its member nations.

Solheim will succeed Achim Steiner as executive director of the United Nations Environment Program known as UNEP. He currently heads the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's committee on development assistance and serves as UNEP's special envoy for environment, conflict and disaster.

Nairobi-based UNEP calls itself "the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda."

Espinosa, a career diplomat, has been Mexico's ambassador to Germany since 2012 and was foreign affairs secretary from 2006 to 2012.

Dujarric said Espinosa has more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels in international relations, specialising in climate change, sustainable development, global governance and human rights. She would replace Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica.

Espinosa would head the secretariat that supports the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - the international treaty agreed upon at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that set up negotiations for further treaties to try to control the rise of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

The convention of nearly 200 countries produced the landmark Paris climate agreement last December that has been signed by 177 nations or parties.

Read more on:    un  |  unep  |  christiana figueres  |  cop21  |  environment

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