United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 26 April 2021 the appointment of Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. He will succeed Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedication and commitment to the United Nations.
Mr. Rattray is an accomplished diplomat with a distinguished career in the Jamaica Foreign Service. He brings to the position broad-based managerial and leadership experience of working within and across multi-cultural settings with a focus on addressing the developmental challenges faced by countries in special situations, particularly in the area of development finance.
Previously Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York, Mr. Rattray also serves as Co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing; Children and the SDGs; as well as the Group of Friends of Decent Work. He has served as Chairperson of several key initiatives, including the 52nd session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD52) in 2019, Co-facilitator for the Conclusions and Recommendations of the 2018 Financing for Development Forum, Chair of the United Nations Permanent Memorial Committee to honour the victims of slavery and Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on UN Security Council Reform. He is also a past Chair of the UN Committee on Disarmament and International Security (First Committee), and co-facilitated negotiations for the Ministerial Declaration of the High-Level Political Forum of the UN Economic and Social Council and chaired the 6th Biennial Meeting of States on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Prior to that, he was Ambassador of Jamaica to the People’s Republic of China in Beijing (2008-2013); Director, Bilateral Relations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston, Jamaica (2005 -2008); Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, D.C. (2001-2005); Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kingston (2000-2001) and Special Adviser to the Minister of Industry and Investment, Kingston (1999-2000). Before he joined the Jamaica Foreign Service, Mr. Rattray was Executive Director of the Jamaica Marketing Company in London (1990-1997) and Director of Marketing and Promotions of the Jamaica National Export Corporation in Kingston (1987-1988).
Mr. Rattray holds a Master of Arts degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; a Master of Arts in International Business from the London South Bank University; and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He has been awarded Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by West Virginia Wesleyan College.