Ban Ki-moon Appoints Patricia Espinosa to Head UNFCCC
19 May 2016 | Mitigation
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday appointed Patricia Espinosa Cantellano of Mexico as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The appointment has been made after consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.
She will succeed Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica to whom the Secretary-General expressed his sincere gratitude for her invaluable support and dedication in restoring confidence in the international climate negotiations, successfully catalysing cooperation among Governments and all sectors of society in bringing forward commitments and climate action plans, supported by a modernised Climate Secretariat. Playing a pivotal role, her leadership and personal commitment contributed in supporting the Secretary-General, the UN System and Parties to the Framework Convention in securing the historic and universal UN Climate Agreement in Paris in 2015.
Currently Ambassador of Mexico to Germany (since 2012 and from 2001 to 2002), Ms. Espinosa Cantellano was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico from 2006 to 2012, bringing more than 30 years of experience at highest levels in international relations, specialized in climate change, global governance, sustainable development, gender equality and protection of human rights.
As Mexico's representative on multilateral bodies and international organizations in Vienna, Geneva and New York, Ms. Espinosa Cantellano has been engaged as leader in the global challenge to address climate change and its consequences, notably as Chair of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC leading to the adoption of the Cancun Agreements. Named by the UN Secretary-General to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, she is a tireless supporter of multilateralism as a way to improve conditions for development in all regions of the world, understanding the inextricable link between the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Elected Chair of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (1996) she played a key role in the process leading to the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action at the 4th World Conference on Women. Previous Ambassador of Mexico to Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and UN Organisations in Vienna (2002-2006), she was Chief of Staff to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991) and responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN in Geneva (1982-1988).
Born in 1958, she has postgraduate studies in International Law from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva and is holder of a Degree in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico. Fluent in English and German, she is confident in French with Spanish mother tongue.