13 May 2008


13 May 2008
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Angela Kane of Germany as Under-Secretary-General for Management, and of Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  Ms. Kane will replace Ms. Bárcena Ibarra, who will replace Jose Luis Machinea.

The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Machinea’s dedicated service to ECLAC, where his intellectual leadership and deep knowledge of the region contributed greatly to the Commission’s relevance and achievement of its goals.  The Secretary-General is also grateful for Ms. Bárcena Ibarra’s committed services to the United Nations; she has energetically led the push for management reform, spearheading several initiatives to make the Secretariat more efficient, responsive and accountable.

Ms. Kane has had a long and distinguished career in the United Nations.  In addition to her substantive assignments, she has held various managerial functions, including with financial responsibility, and has served on many administrative task forces and working groups, focusing on human resources reform and other managerial issues.  Most recently, since December 2005, Ms. Kane has been serving as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, a core function related to the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

She oversaw two large regional divisions, as well as the Department’s work related to decolonization and the question of Palestine, and supported several special political missions, notably in Iraq, Nepal and the Middle East.  Previously, she served as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management.  A major focus of her work in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management was the implementation of reform initiatives, integrated global management, the use of information technology tools and the repositioning of the Department as a proactive and efficient service provider.  From 1999 to 2003, she held the position of Director in the Department of Political Affairs.

From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Kane held a managerial post in the Department of Public Information, where she was in charge of publications and the United Nations publishing policy, overseeing global marketing and sales, and information resources.  She initiated the United Nations move into online publishing and was responsible for the development of the United Nations website,, in all official languages.

Ms. Kane’s previous United Nations experience includes as Principal Officer for Political Affairs in the Office of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process with the negotiations to end the conflict in El Salvador.

Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), and postings in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Bangkok, Thailand.

Prior to joining the Organization, Ms. Kane worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and for private industry in Europe.  She attended university in Munich, Germany, and holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Born in 1948, Ms. Kane is married.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served as the Chef de Cabinet to former Secretary-General Kofi Annan before serving as the Under-Secretary-General for Management.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra served as Deputy Executive Secretary of ECLAC, and in this capacity she contributed substantively and increased interagency collaboration to provide a regional perspective on the Millennium Development Goals and on Financing for Sustainable Development, connecting issues of inequality, poverty, economic development and sustainability with the required fiscal policies needed to address extreme poverty.

As Chief of the Environment and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC, she heightened the profile of the Regional Commission in the areas of climate change, sustainable energy, fiscal policies and environment.  She previously served as Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as Adviser to the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She was part of the Secretariat that was in charge of preparing the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.  She was Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21 and was also the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica.

Previously, she served in the Government of Mexico as the first Vice-Minister of Ecology and as Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries.

In the academic arena, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was the Director of the South-East Regional Centre of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones sobre Recursos Bióticos in the State of Yucatán, working closely with the Mayan communities.  She has taught and researched on natural sciences, mostly on botany, ethnobotany and ecology.  She has published a number of articles on sustainable development, namely on financing, public policies, environment and public participation.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was born in 1952.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.