Hussein Abaza is the Chief of the Economics and Trade Branch of UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics. He received a B.A in Economics from the American University in Cairo (1973), and M.Phil. in Urban Housing planning from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom (1981).
He joined the United Nations Environment Programme in 1982, and functioned in different capacities. These included: Coordinator of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) (March 88 - June 89), with main functions including strengthening cooperation between African countries in economic, technical and scientific activities of the region; Assistant to the Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (June 89 to February 91) on issues related to and the general operation and management of the organization and priority programme areas initiated by UNEP; Coordinator of the Committee of International Development Institutions on the Environment (CIDIE) (March 91 to December 92), for which UNEP hosted its secretariat, responsibilities included the realization of the objectives of the CIDIE Declaration, Communique, and Action Programme.
From January 93 to February 97, Abaza served as the Chief of the Environment and Economics Unit, whose main functions included the initiation and development of an integrated programme on Environment and Economics, which was endorsed by the Seventeenth Session of the Governing Council of UNEP.
In his current post (March 97 to date), Abaza's functions include assisting countries, particularly developing countries and countries with economies in transition enhance their capacities integrate environmental considerations in development planning and decision-making; provide such assistance through the further development of methodologies and training modules in the application of environmental/integrated assessment, valuation, and economic instruments; examine policy options for effectively addressing challenges of integrating environmental considerations with economic and trade policies, with a view to assisting Governments in their efforts to develop mutually supportive economic, trade and environment policies; and enhance the role of the private sector, particularly the financial service sector, in contributing to sustainable development through the integration of environmental considerations into their internal and external operations.
Prior to joining UNEP, Abaza worked as the Financial and Administrative Manager of a United Nations Physical and Urban Planning project in Saudi Arabia (1973-1979), Managing Director of the Center of Planning and Architecture in Cairo, Egypt (1980), and Manager of the Islamic Investment Company, Central and Northern Region, Saudi Arabia (1981).