Volume 15, No.9 - September 2011

Comings and goings



Tariq Banuri retired on 31 August as Director of the Division for Sustainable Development and Head of Office of the Conference Secretary-General for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Mr. Banuri has broad experience on the interface between policy, research and practical actions on the realization of the goal of sustainable development. He has also worked in government, academia, civil society and the international system.

Before joining the UN, he was Senior Fellow and Director of the Future Sustainability Program at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He started his career in the Civil Service of Pakistan, went on to receive a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, joined the UN as a Research Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER), a model that he adopted in setting up and serving as the founding Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Pakistan.

Mr. Banuri has served on national as well as international forums for policy, advocacy, and research, including as a Coordinating Lead Author on the Nobel Prize-winning Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as a member of the Board of Governors of Pakistan’s Central Bank, and of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Council, and as a member/secretary of Pakistan’s Presidential Steering Committee on Higher Education. He has also served as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), and was a founding member of the Great Transition Initiative (GTI).


Nikolai Zaitsev retired on 31 August as Head of DESA’s Capacity Development Office. Mr. Zaitsev joined the UN in March 1982 as an economic research staff of the UN Centre on Transnational Corporations. He initiated and produced a study on TNCs and the environment, which led to many subsequent UN publications in this field.

In 1987-1991, Mr. Zaitsev was the project officer of a pioneering technical cooperation programme in the former Soviet Union on foreign direct investment. This programme had an important trigger effect that helped change perceptions (and policies) in the last years of the USSR on investment cooperation with the rest of the world. In 1992-1993, he held the position of Secretary of the UN joint delegation to the three international conferences on the Commonwealth of Independent States. Immediately after, he served as Coordinating Secretary of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the CIS, which would eventually lead to the establishment of UN Joint Offices in all the republics of the CIS.

In the late 1990s, Mr. Zaitsev became part of the original “pack” of practitioners in the Secretariat which introduced Results based Budgeting (RBB) in the UN regular budget programming and implementation. He was one of the main ‘brains’ behind the concept of IMDIS which is still used by the Secretariat for programming and reporting of its activities. He advanced the idea and steered the development of the Travel DataBase – today one of the key administrative tools in DESA.

In 2002, Mr. Zaitsev became Chief of the OUSG in DESA, a post he would hold for seven productive years, aiding three consecutive USGs, making him the longest serving Chief of Staff in the history of the Department. In February of 2009, he became Head of DESA’s Capacity Development Office. His important responsibilities have included the management of the UN Development Account, a role he has been playing enthusiastically since Day One of the Account’s establishment in 1997.

The following staff member also retired in August:

Cynthia Conti, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management


Ndey Isatou Njie

Ndey Isatou Njie joined the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) as Chief of the Water, Energy and Strategies Branch, effective 8 August. Ms. Njie has 32 years experience in water resources and environmental management, managing strategic framework processes for sustainable development, and capacity development.

Prior to joining DSD, she served as UNDP’s capacity development practice leader for West and Central Africa. As UNDP’s Africa Regional Coordinator for Capacity 2015, Ms. Njie coordinated the support for national preparatory processes for WSSD for a number of African countries, whilst as Regional Coordinator for Capacity 21, she coordinated the support for the preparation and implementation of national sustainable development strategies for project countries in Africa. She worked with IUCN as strategic planning adviser for Africa under the strategies for sustainability programme.

Ms. Njie was the first Executive Director for The Gambia National Environment Agency (NEA), and led the national preparations for UNCED. She has served in a number of international advisory positions which include: the chair of the policy consultative group for natural resources management in Africa, for the World Resources Institute (WRI); member of the board of directors for Lead international; member of the board of directors of the Network of for Environment and Sustainable Development in Africa (NESDA); and member of the African advisory group for SEMCIT ( Sustainability, Education, and the Management of Change in the Tropics).

The following staff members were promoted in August:

Andrea De Luka, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division

Maria Guran, Team Assistant, Statistics Division

Carlos Gusukuma, Information Management Assistant, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Dominika Halka, Economic Affairs Officer, Financing for Development office

Phillicia Waite, Senior Staff Assistant, Development Policy and Analysis Division