Mukhisa Kituyi's replacement at UNCTAD makes history after taking over [Profile]

Rebeca Grynspan is the former vice president of Costa Rica and the first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general.

Former UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi and incoming UNCTAD Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan

Kenyan Presidential hopefull Mukhisa Kituyi has officially been replaced at the helm of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva.

Kituyi resigned on February 2021, to focus on his presidential campaign and on Monday, September 13, UNCTAD announced Rebeca Grynspana as its new Secretary General.

According to a statement from the organisation, Rebeca is the former vice president of Costa Rica and the first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general.

She was nominated for the post by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and approved by the General Assembly in June, but officially took over on Monday.

I am honoured to begin work at UNCTAD at a critical time for our world,” Ms. 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.”

Ms. Grynspan stated that UNCTAD’s 15th quadrennial conference, slated for October, 3 to October 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-19 economic fallout and sustainable development challenges.

Ms. Grynspan has had a career spanning many years and has held several high-level positions.

Prior to her UNCTAD appointment, she was the Ibero-American secretary-general. Also there she was the first woman to lead the organization.

She’s 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 organization.

Prior to joining the UN, she 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.

In addition, she was a member of the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: