Rebeca Grynspan appointed as UNCTAD Secretary-General

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Geneva, 11 June 2021 – Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica will be the new Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the UN trade and development body. Her nomination to the post by UN Secretary-General António Guterres was approved by the UN General Assembly earlier today.

Ms. Grynspan, the first woman and Central American to be appointed as Secretary-General of UNCTAD, is an economist and current Ibero-American Secretary-General.

Rebeca Grynspan
270515 Madrid Rebeca Grynspan en la sede de la Secretaría General Iberoamericana SEGIB.
Fernando Sánchez/SEGIB

“I am grateful and honoured for the trust the UN Secretary-General António Guterres has placed in me with this appointment as Secretary-General of UNCTAD,” Ms. Grynspan said. “I look forward to bringing my experience and commitment to development to this unique organization, whose history, mandate and recognized world-class expertise make it a key partner for all countries facing the challenges of post-pandemic recovery.”

She added: “I believe that, at this critical time, UNCTAD can make an essential contribution for a more just, sustainable and inclusive recovery for all.”

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Ms. Grynspan has had a career spanning many years and has held several high-level positions including, among others, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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She has also served as the UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, a member of the High-level Panel on Financing for Development, and Vice President of Costa Rica (1994 to 1998).

UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant welcomed the appointment and said:

“This is great news for UNCTAD. The timely coming on board of Ms. Grynspan as our Secretary-General will be key to leading us in the implementation of a new chapter and mandate that will be decided by our 15th ministerial conference, UNCTAD15, in October this year.”

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