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Dutch diplomat appointed head of UN climate change convention

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the appointment of a Dutch climate expert to lead the United Nations body responsible for monitoring an international climate change treaty.

Yvo de Boer will become the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is responsible for gathering and sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices, and launching national strategies for addressing the issue, among other measures.

Mr. de Boer will assume his role on 4 September, in time to lead the Convention at the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, in November.

“I am very enthusiastic about taking up the job ahead of this conference,” said Mr. de Boer in a statement released by UNFCCC. “The conference is significant because some of the biggest challenges related to climate change which are presently facing humanity will be dealt with there.”

The meeting, the first ever of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, will focus on issues such as adaptation to climate change, technology transfer and talks and negotiations on the future of the climate change process, both under the UNFCCC and under the Kyoto Protocol, a binding pact which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. de Boer, who is 52 years old, is currently Director for International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. He has also served as Vice-President of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

“He has actively sought broad stakeholder involvement on the issue of climate change,” said the Secretary-General in a statement, noting that Mr. de Boer launched an international dialogue on the clean development mechanism and has partnered in international discussions with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, aimed at increasing private sector involvement.

Before serving the Dutch government, Mr. de Boer was Chief of the UN Information Office for North America and the Caribbean, of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in Canada and Human Settlements Adviser with the Habitat in Nairobi.

Mr. de Boer will succeed the late Joke Waller-Hunter, also from the Netherlands. She was appointed to the position in 2002 and died last year at the age of 58.

UN News Centre

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