For information only - not an official document.
UNIS/ SG/A/148
18 December 2000
Secretary-General Appointed Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico Chairman
Of High-level Panel on Financing for Development

NEW YORK, 15 December (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico, as Chairman of a panel to advise the Secretary-General on concrete actions he could recommend to fulfil the finance needs of the world's developing countries.

The formation of this panel is in response to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, approved by world leaders in September, in which development and poverty eradication goals are accorded high priority.

At a press conference held earlier today in New York, the Secretary-General announced his belief that the panel's recommendations "will help build up political momentum, so that the meeting on financing for development in 2002 can mark a real turning point in the fortunes of poor countries, and poor people, all over the world". The panel is due to report to the Secretary-General by May 2001.

A graduate of Mexico's public school system, Mr. Zedillo enrolled at age 18 at the Advanced School of Economics of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional, where he received his bachelor's degree in economics in 1972. Mr. Zedillo earned his Master's degree and Ph.D. in economics from Yale University, where he studied the issue of public indebtedness in Mexico and its link to future growth of petroleum exports.

In 1978 Mr. Zedillo became involved in economic research and analysis at the Banco de Mexico. He became widely recognized as one of the main proponents of economic modernization policies. While working at the Banco de Mexico, Mr. Zedillo established the Exchange Risk Coverage Trust Fund, the agency that made it possible to restructure the debt of many Mexican companies in the early 1980s. This action assured the companies' financial recovery and preserved the jobs of thousands of Mexican workers.

Mr. Zedillo began working for the Government in 1988, serving in various positions before being elected as President of Mexico in August of 1994.

Mr. Zedillo is married to Nilda Patricia Velasco. They have five children -- Ernesto, Emiliano, Carlos, Nilda Patricia and Rodrigo.

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