Belgian Isabelle Durant replaces Kituyi at UNCTAD

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 18:29 | By
Ms Durant and Mukhisa Kituyi, former UNCTAD Sec-Gen who resigned to vie for Presidency in Kenya

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed a Belgian Isabelle Durant as the Secretary General of UNCTAD at an acting capacity.

Durant was appointed to replace Mukhisa Kituyi who resigned to pursue his political ambitions in the oncoming General Elections in Kenya.

"She is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the people served by the organization get the support they need during the crisis and on the path to recovery," announced UNCTAD Tuesday afternoon EAT.

Ms. Durant will not serve in a full capacity as she is expected to ensure a smooth transition ahead of the main recruitment.

She expressed gratitude and promised to propel the UN's trade organ.

“I’m deeply honoured to lead UNCTAD at this critical time as countries all over the world battle a deadly pandemic and the worst economic crisis in nearly a century,” Ms. Durant said.

“I’m committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the people we serve are supported during this crisis and feel us by their side on the path to recovery,” she said.

She added “I’ll work closely with UNCTAD’s 195 member states to prepare the organization for a meaningful 15th quadrennial conference in Barbados in October, for a more resilient and inclusive world of shared prosperity.”

UNCTAD praised Ms.Durant as gender crusader who has made international trade more inclusive.

Ms. Durant has been heavily involved in the socio-economic response of the UN to the coronavirus crisis and has led the work of UNCTAD in this area, they added.

Ms. Durant is a former vice Prime Minister and senator of Belgium. She is experienced in public affairs, intergovernmental processes and providing concrete assistance to countries.

The 67-year-old holds a master's degree in economic and social policy from Belgium's Universite Catholique de Louvain.

Mukhisa's seven-year stint at UNCTAD ended last Monday. He is positioning himself to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the oncoming 2022 poll.

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