Costa Rican economist Rebeca Grynspan has taken up her new role as secretary-general of UNCTAD for a four-year term.
Grynspan, the first woman to serve as UNCTAD's secretary-general, was nominated for the post by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and approved by the General Assembly.
"I am honoured to begin work at UNCTAD at a critical time for our world," Grynspan said. "Covid-19 has exposed the widespread inequalities and vulnerabilities of the world and the development model. As we recover from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to rebalance the global economy, boost resilience and ensure shared prosperity."
"We must take action today to transform trade and reshape our global economy to overcome barriers to greater prosperity for all and embark on a sustainable development path that will benefit everyone," she said.
Grynspan said UNCTAD's 15th quadrennial conference, slated for October 3-7, will be an important opportunity for countries to make bold decisions to address the massive unmet trade, finance, investment and technology needs of developing countries struggling to meet both the Covid economic fallout and sustainable development challenges.
Before her UNCTAD appointment, Grynspan was the Ibero-American secretary-general. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, too.
She is also a former under-secretary-general of the UN and associate administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and a former regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean for the organisation.
Before joining the UN, Grynspan served as vice president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also minister of housing, minister coordinator of economic and social affairs and deputy finance minister.