21 April 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Proposes Re-election by General Assembly of Achim Steiner

of Germany to Head United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposed for re-election by the General Assembly Achim Steiner as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for a four-year term.† Mr. Steiner is currently serving as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme for a four-year term -- 15 June 2006 through 14 June 2010.†

In nominating Mr. Steiner for a second term as Executive Director of UNEP, the Secretary-General acknowledges the accomplishments of UNEP during his first term and ensures that his leadership skills will continue to serve Member States and the United Nations at this critical juncture in its search for a more sustainable development path for all nations.

During his first term as Executive Director of UNEP, Mr. Steiner has been widely recognized for his leadership in refocusing UNEP's work through a new medium-term strategy and an ambitious reform programme. †As a result, UNEPís role and visibility as the principal voice and resource for the environment in the United Nations system has grown significantly. †This is also reflected in the expanded number of partnerships with United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in the United Nations.

Mr. Steiner's commitment to implementing the Bali Strategic Plan, while continuing to strengthen UNEP's scientific and normative capacity, has been widely acknowledged by Member States. †Their growing confidence in UNEP is also reflected in the significant increases in financial contributions by Member States, which grew by over 40 per cent during his tenure.†

Mr. Steiner's policy and intellectual leadership have also enabled UNEP to assume a dynamic and innovative role in shaping the contemporary discourse on development and sustainability. †UNEPís leadership in articulating the Green Economy Agenda and the Global Green New Deal Concept had an impact well beyond the traditional arenas of environmental policy.

His professional track record in the fields of sustainable development policy and environmental management, his first-hand knowledge of civil society, governmental and international organizations, as well as his global experience spanning five continents make him an excellent choice to lead the United Nations Environment Programme.†

Mr. Steiner serves on a number of international advisory boards, including the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), the Centre for Environment and Development in the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPI), and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

In 1998, he was appointed Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams, based in South Africa -- where he managed a global review process and policy dialogue on dams and development.

In 2001, he was appointed Director General of the IUCN -- the International Union for Conservation of Nature -- widely regarded as one of the most influential and highly respected organizations in the field of conservation, environment and natural resources management.† As Chief Executive, he held responsibility for the management and oversight of 1,000 staff located in 42 countries, implementing the Unionís global work programme.

His professional career has included assignments with governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organizations in different parts of the world.† In Washington, where he was Senior Policy Advisor of the International Union for Conservation of Natureís Global Policy Unit, he led the development of new partnerships between the environment community and the World Bank and United Nations system.† In Southeast Asia, he worked as Chief Technical Advisor of the Mekong River Commission/GTZ on a programme for sustainable management of Mekong River watersheds and community-based natural resources management.

Mr. Steiner obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts from the University of London, with specialization in development economics, regional planning, and international development policy.† He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin, as well as the Harvard Business School.

Mr. Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, was born in Brazil in 1961.

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*†††† This supersedes Press Release SG/A/989-BIO/3750-UNEP/318 of 16 March 2006

For information media • not an official record