19 June 2006

Secretary-General Appoints Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico Chef de Cabinet

NEW YORK, 16 June (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to appoint Alicia Bárcena Ibarra of Mexico as his Chef de Cabinet at the Under-Secretary-General level with effect from 1 June 2006.

Since 1 May 2006, Ms. Bárcena Ibarra has served as Acting Chef de Cabinet.  She joined the Executive Office of the Secretary-General on 1 February 2006 as Deputy Chef de Cabinet.  She previously served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  In this position, she has actively promoted the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Previously, she was the Chief of the Environment and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC.  Her career has focused on public policies for sustainable development with particular reference to the linkages between environment, economy and social issues.  She focused her work on financing for sustainable development.

She previously served as Coordinator of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in charge of a global programme on environmental citizenship with emphasis on the participation of civil society, as well as adviser to the Latin American and Caribbean Sustainable Development Programme in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

She was the Founding Director of the Earth Council in Costa Rica until 1995.  The Earth Council is a non-governmental organization in charge of the follow-up of the agreements reached in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.

She collaborated in the UNCED Secretariat as Principal Officer in charge of various topics related to Agenda 21.

In the Government of Mexico, she was Director-General of the National Institute of Fisheries and the first Vice-Minister of Ecology.

In the academic arena, she was the Director of the South-East Regional Centre of the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones sobre Recursos Bióticos in the State of Yucatan, working closely with the Mayan communities. She has taught and researched on natural sciences mostly on botany, ethnobotany and ecology. She has published a number of articles on sustainable development, namely on financing, public policies, environment and public participation.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University.

Ms. Bárcena Ibarra was born on 5 March 1952.

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