Algerian Takes Over the Helm of Top Biological Treaty

Nairobi/Montreal, 21 June 2005 - Ahmed Djoghlaf of Algeria has been appointed Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) headquartered in Montreal, Canada, it was announced today.

Mr Djoghlaf, who takes over from Hamdallah Zedan of Egypt, has extensive experience in the field of the environment, biodiversity and multilateral organizations.

Currently he is Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Global Environment Facility based in Nairobi, Kenya.

He has held this position since 1996 and has played a key role in raising UNEP’s position and activities within this important multi billion dollar fund. Mr Djoghlaf also holds the title of Assistant Executive Director of UNEP.

Before this he has held numerous positions including Acting Principal Officer on intergovernmental issues and cooperative arrangements at the Secretariat of the CBD. Here he was in charge of meetings including the First and Second Conference of the Parties.

He was, in 1994, also Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of CBD in charge of, for example, the preparations for the First Conference of the Parties held in Nassau, Bahamas, in December that year.

Previous to this Mr Djoghlaf held a variety of important posts in the Government of Algeria.

He holds a PhD from the University of Nancy, France, as well as numerous other academic qualifications including Master of Arts, Government and Politics from St John’s University, New York.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said today:” It will be a great loss for UNEP to see Ahmed Djoghlaf go. He has truly transformed our role within the Global Environment Facility and he will be sorely missed. But our loss is the CBD’s gain. Mr Djoghlaf has the skills, the intellect and experience to take this important convention forward into the 21st century”.

For More Information Please Contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, on Tel: +254 20 62 3084; Mobile: +254 733 632 755, E-mail:

If there is no prompt response, please contact Elisabeth Waechter, UNEP Associate Information Officer, on Tel: 254 20 623088, Mobile: 254 720 173968, E-mail:

UNEP News Release 2005/32


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