Press Releases

    Biographical Note

    29 April 2002


    NEW YORK, 26 April (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General announced the appointment of Patricia Durrant of Jamaica as United Nations Ombudsman. The appointment is at the Assistant Secretary-General level.

    A career diplomat since 1971, Ms. Durrant has been accredited as Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations since 7 June 1995.

    She served previously as Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1983 to 1987. Prior to assuming her current post, she was Director-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade from 1992 to 1995. From 1987 to 1992 she was Jamaica’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, with concurrent accreditation as non-resident Ambassador to the Holy See, Israel, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

    Ms. Durrant served in the Political Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, first as Assistant Director, from 1977 to 1980, and subsequently as Deputy Director until 1983. Previous positions held by Ms. Durrant include: Minister-Counsellor at Jamaica’s Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. (1974-1977), Principal Assistant Secretary (1972-1974), and Assistant Secretary (1971-1972) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    At the United Nations, Ms. Durrant has served as President of the High Level Committee on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (1999-2001); Vice Chair of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Population and Development (1999); and Jamaica’s Representative to the Security Council (2000-2001).

    She is currently Chair of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Children; and Chair of the Consultative Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

    Ms. Durrant holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in International Relations from the University of the West Indies as well as a Diploma in Overseas Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

    In 1992, Ms. Durrant was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (C.D.) and in 2000 the Order of Jamaica (O.J.) for services to Jamaica in the field of international affairs. In 1998, she was honoured by the University of the West Indies as one of its Distinguished Graduates, on the occasion of the University’s fiftieth anniversary. Other awards received by Ms. Durrant include the Distinguished Achievement Award from the World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows.

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