18 Sep 2013 04:50
WINDHOEK, 18 SEP (NAMPA) COP 11, which is currently taking place in the capital, will be the third and last Conference of the Parties presided over by UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja.
The 11th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) opened here on Monday for delegates to discuss ways of tackling land degradation and desertification.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced the appointment of Monique Barbut from France as the UNCCD's incoming Executive Secretary.
She will take over from Gnacadja, whose term ends on 30 September this year.
At the first plenary session on Monday, Gnacadja said Parties have granted him an immense privilege to serve such a resourceful convention.
Building on the provisions of the Conventions 10-year strategy (2008 to 2018), and with your support, I have endeavoured to move the UNCCD into a new level, into a new dimension, he beamed.
He enumerated the endeavours he had embarked upon on implementing the UNCCDs 10-year strategy, adopted at COP 8 in September 2008 in Madrid.
According to Gnacadja, he endeavoured to mobilise science and knowledge for policy development on desertification, land degradation and drought issues; promoted and advanced measurability and monitoring under the UNCCD; strengthened UNCCD advocacy and outreach; advanced the science and policy dialogue under the Convention; and improved the institutional set-up of the UNCCD.
Before taking up his position as UNCCD Executive Secretary, he served as Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development in Benin from 1999 to 2005.
He gained first-hand knowledge of the UNCCD process over a number of years in his capacity as Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD.
He was also Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity.
He has furthermore served as chairman of several international ministerial conferences, meetings and workshops related to the environment, urban and regional development and sustainable development, including the African Ministers Conference on Environment and the Commission on Sustainable Development.
In March 2003, Gnacadja was honoured with the 2002 Green Award in Washington by the World Bank.