6 March 2006

Shortlist of Candidates for Post of Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

NEW YORK, 3 February (UN Headquarters) -- The post of Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will become vacant on 1 April 2006 at the end of the tenure of Mr. Klaus Töpfer.  Under the new senior recruitment procedures which were established at the beginning of 2005, the Secretary-General has decided on a shortlist of candidates for the post.  The Secretary-General on 14 December 2005 solicited nominations from Member States which were considered together with other nominations.  A thorough review of the nominations was undertaken by the Secretary-General and his senior advisers.  Having been named in the shortlist made available on 1 March, the following candidates have been invited for interview in the next few weeks:

-- Mr. Børge Brende (Norway) -- former Minister of Environment and former Minister of Trade and Industry;

-- Mr. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Echandi (Costa Rica) -- Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica;

-- Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan) -- Deputy Executive Director, UNEP;

-- Mr. Rajendra K. Pachauri (India) -- Director-General, the Energy and Resource Institute; and

-- Mr. Achim Steiner (Germany) -- Director-General of the World Conservation Union.

In the interview and evaluation of the candidates, the Secretary-General and his senior advisers will be guided by the following criteria for the post:

-- Strong diplomatic, political and fund-raising skills;

-- Strategic vision and strong leadership;

-- Strong international profile in the environment field and thorough knowledge of environment and development issues;

-- Proven skills in the management of complex organizations;

-- The flexibility and vision to participate in an evolving international environmental architecture;

-- Good knowledge of the UN system and a commitment to the pursuit of reform; and

-- Fluency in English is required.  French is highly desirable.  Knowledge of another official language of the United Nations is an asset.

The views of the environmental community on the candidates will be sought informally.  The candidates will then be interviewed by a panel of senior UN officials, including an outside expert, who will refer the finalists to the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General for final interview.  The Secretary-General will then forward the name of his recommended candidate for appointment to the post of Executive Director of UNEP for a term of four years.

The shortlist for the position of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be made public shortly.  Given the similarities between the UNEP and UNFCCC positions, and the eligibility of some of the candidates for both, the Secretary-General might conclude that one of the candidates interviewed for UNEP is more suitable for UNFCCC or vice versa and, therefore, in the former case, make the appointment to that post in consultation with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

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