Press Releases

         22 June 2005

    New Executive Secretary Appointed for Convention on Biological Diversity

    (Reissued as received.)

    NAIROBI/MONTREAL, 21 June (UNEP) -- Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria has been appointed Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), effective 1 January 2006, it was announced today. The treaty, which is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

    Mr. Djoghlaf, who takes over from Hamdallah Zedan of Egypt, has extensive experience in the field of the environment, biodiversity and multilateral organizations.

    Currently, he is Director of UNEP's Division of Global Environment Facility Coordination, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

    He has held this position since 1996 and has played a key role in raising UNEP’s position and activities within this important multibillion dollar fund. Mr. Djoghlaf also holds the title of Assistant Executive Director of UNEP.

    Before this he has held numerous positions including Acting Principal Officer on intergovernmental issues and cooperative arrangements at the Secretariat of the CBD. Here he was in charge of intergovernmental meetings, including the First and Second Conference of the Parties to the treaty.

    He was, in 1994, also Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of CBD in charge of, for example, the preparations for the First Conference of the Parties held in Nassau, Bahamas, in December of that year.

    Previous to this, Mr. Djoghlaf held a variety of important posts in the Government of Algeria.

    He holds a PhD from the University of Nancy, France, as well as numerous other academic qualifications including Master of Arts, Government and Politics from St. John’s University, New York.

    Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said today: "It will be a great loss for UNEP to see Ahmed Djoghlaf go. He has truly transformed our role within the Global Environment Facility and he will be sorely missed. But our loss is the CBD’s gain. Mr Djoghlaf has the skills, the intellect and experience to take this important convention forward into the 21st century."

    For more information, please contact: Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, Nairobi, tel.: +254 20 62-3084; mobile: +254-733-632-755, e-mail:; or Elisabeth Waechter, UNEP Associate Information Officer, tel.: +254 20 623088, mobile: +254-720-173968, e-mail:

    In New York, contact Jim Sniffen, Information Officer, UNEP, tel.: +1 212 963-8094/8210,

    Information on the Convention on Biological Diversity can be found at

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