United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania as his Special Adviser for the Sahel. He will support Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, in ongoing efforts to advance the recalibration of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and the emerging Sahel Support Plan.
The Secretary-General’s appointment of Mr. Thiaw as Special Adviser for the Sahel will enable the Secretary-General to draw on Mr. Thiaw’s national, regional and international experience to serve millions of people across one of the world’s most complex areas towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Currently Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr. Thiaw’s appointment builds on almost 40 years of experience in sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management. In addition to his management responsibilities in UNEP, Mr. Thiaw played a critical role in shaping the organization’s strategic vision and mandate, overseeing the development and implementation of the mid-term strategy and programme of work. He also catalysed political engagement with Governments and strengthened the relationship with governing bodies, including the United Nations Environmental Assembly.
Mr. Thiaw joined UNEP in 2007 from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, last serving as Acting Director-General. He holds an advanced degree in forestry and forest product techniques.
* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1428-BIO/4501-UNEP/329 of 2 August 2013.