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November 21, 2019
ENVIRONMENT

Romanian Environment Minister to become executive secretary of ONU Convention on Biodiversity, from March 2017

Minister of Environment, Waters and Forests, Cristiana Pasca Palmer, will take over the position of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention (ONU) on Biological Diversity, starting with March 2017, according to the official site of the world forum.

The Romanian Environment Minister was appointed in this position by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the announcement was made on the occasion of the Romanian National Day celebrations in New York and on the sidelines of the Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Cancun, Mexico, during December 1 to December 17 2016.

“It is such an extraordinary accomplishment and I was really happy to find out I am the finalist of the selection competition of the new UN Assistant Secretary General, who will lead the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. It is an honor for me personally, but I am mostly happy that, through my appointment, I have won for Romania the highest representative position at the UN it has ever held. This is a recognition of my work in the field for over 20 years but also a culmination of my efforts during the past year to position Romania as an international key player in the field of environmental protection. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than to represent my country with honor and I hope that this achievement be only a first step to “break the ice’ and open the door for many more Romanian men and women to be recognized and fairly promoted based on merit, on value and competence. Romania has very well prepared people and the time has come to have the courage to stand out more poignantly regionally and globally,” has declared on Monday, Pasca Palmer.

The Romanian Environment Minister will succeed Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias of Brazil, who will occupy this position until February 2017.

The position of Executive Secretary of the UN Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD) is a high level position, with the rank of Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations (UN Assistant Secretary General), being, in fact, the most important position that a representative of Romania ever held in the UN system, representatives of the Environment Ministry claim.

According to the ONU site (un.org), Cristiana Pasca Palmer brings to the position extensive experience in global policymaking and in coordinating the implementation of environment and sustainable development policies, programmes and projects at the national and international levels.

“Currently Romania’s Minister for Environment, Waters and Forests since 2015, Ms. Pasca Palmer brings to the position extensive experience in global policymaking and in coordinating the implementation of environment and sustainable development policies, programmes and projects at the national and international levels. With sound knowledge of intergovernmental processes and advocacy work, she has a strong science base and hands-on experience in programmatic and management challenges related to the Biodiversity Convention. (…) Pasca Palmer is a multidisciplinary practitioner and academic in international development with a strong focus on green economy and environmental sustainability, in addition to business management, international negotiations and environmental diplomacy.

The UN site mentions that Pasca Palmer is former Head of the Climate Change, Environment and Natural Resources Unit within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) between 2011 and 2015, in Brussels.

Romania’s Minister for Environment, Waters and Forests was also a Policy Analyst on International Relations and the Western Balkans in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action, from 2010-2011.

Born in 1968, Cristiana Pasca Palmer holds a Master of Science degree in systems ecology and management of natural capital and a Doctor of Philosophy in international relations and development economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States.

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