The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has today confirmed the appointment of Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for a term of office of four years.
It is the first time a woman is appointed to lead the United Nation’s main
conference on trade, investment and development.
Rebeca Grynspan was born in San José, Costa Rica. She was unanimously elected as Ibero-American Secretary-General in 2014, and in 2018 her mandate was renewed for a further four-year term. She was the first woman to lead the organisation.
In 2010 she was named Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). From 2006 to 2010, she was UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs, and Deputy Finance Minister.
In addition, she has been a member of the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development, convened by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001.
The Ibero-American Secretariat is an international support organisation for 22 countries that make up the Ibero-American Conference: the 19 Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and those of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain, Portugal and Andorra.
Secretary-General Grynspan renewed the Ibero-American Summits of Heads of State, promoting political dialogue, and South-South and regional cooperation. During COVID-19 pandemic she has called for effective multilateralism, vaccine access for all and the urgent need for adequate, flexible financing for middle income countries.
“I am grateful and honoured for the trust the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has placed in me by appointing me Secretary-General of UNCTAD,” Mrs Grynspan said. “I look forward to bringing my experience and commitment to development to this unique organisation, whose history, mandate and recognized world-class expertise make it a key partner for all countries facing the challenges of post pandemic recovery.”
She added: “I am grateful for the support of Costa Rica and proud to represent Latin America in this institution which has been led in the past by leading economists from our region.”
“I want to gratefully acknowledge the constant support I have received from member states of the Ibero-American conference in the past seven years as Secretary-General, a support that has made it possible to achieve great results for the region.”
Rebeca Grynspan is the first woman and an the first Central American to be appointed as Secretary-General of UNCTAD. Previous UNCTAD Secretary-Generals from Latin America include Raúl Prebisch (Argentina), Manuel Pérez Guerrero (Venezuela), Rubens Ricupero (Brasil) y Carlos Fortin (Chile).
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