UNEP Pays Tribute to Senior Chemicals Advisor, Matthew Gubb Fri, May 9, 2014

UNEP lost Senior Chemicals Advisor, Matthew Gubb, who passed away peacefully at his home in France on 4 May 2014.

A New Zealander with a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University and Master's degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies, Matthew joined UNEP in 2001. He held the position of UNEP Senior Advisor to the Chemicals Branch in the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), advising on chemicals and waste issues. Matthew also advised on Global Environment Facility project management in the chemicals and waste portfolio, in particular, on pesticides and mercury.

"It is with great shock and deep regret that I convey to you the sad news about the death of our colleague Mr. Matthew Gubb. Matthew spent over 13 years of his professional career working with UNEP. Please join me in extending my deepest sympathy and condolences to Matthew's family and friends," said UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP Achim Steiner.

"Even during his illness, Matthew dedicated himself to his work - going 'well beyond the call of duty' - to push UNEP's work in this vital area. He has left a defining legacy and body of work that will feature prominently in UNEP's achievements into the future," he added.

Matthew's work at UNEP began at the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), a global policy framework located in Geneva under UNEP's Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE). He worked with SAICM on chemical risk reduction, improved knowledge and information, better governance and capacity-building.

Among other major achievements in the field of chemicals, Matthew served as the Coordinator of the Mercury Negotiations Team on a Globally Legally Binding Instrument on Mercury. This work culminated in last year's adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury - the first global convention on environment and health for close to a decade and a major accomplishment at the global level.

During his tenure at DTIE, he helped make information on chemicals management more accessible and user-friendly. One example is the landmark Guidelines for National Strategies for Waste Management report, which assisted governments in implementing programmes and policies for managing their waste.

One of Matthew's most recent projects, which remains unfinished, is the Global Waste Management Outlook report. Colleagues at DTIE say that this report was a dream of Matthew's, and that its publication next year will bring many of his professional hopes and aspirations to fruition.

A service celebrating Matthew's life was held today in Prémanon, France.

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