Judge Profile

Ahmed Djoghlaf

Executive Secretary, Convention of Biological Diversity - UNEP

An Algerian national, Executive Secretary Dr. Djoghlaf has pursued a distinguished diplomatic career that has included postings with the government of Algeria and UNEP.

He assumed the position of Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on January 3, 2006. He was named to his previous position as Assistant Executive Director of UNEP in June 2003, following his success as Director and Coordinator of UNEP's Division of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), where he played a key role for some seven years and successfully raised UNEP’S profile. During his tenure at the GEF, the portfolio grew from 6 projects worth US$ 28 million to 600 projects worth more than US $1 billion implemented in 155 countries.

Throughout his impressive career, Dr. Djoghlaf has increased his extensive knowledge of global environment processes within the UN system and within the CBD process. Notably, he was the General Rapporteur of the Preparatory Committee of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), better known as the “Rio Summit”. He was Vice Chairman of the Eleventh Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development and Vice President of the Negotiating Committee on the Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as Chair of one of the two negotiating committees of the Convention to Combat Desertification.

His numerous positions at the CBD included Acting Principal Officer on intergovernmental issues and cooperative arrangements at the Secretariat, during which time he was in charge of meetings including the First and Second Conferences of the Parties. In 1994, in his capacity as Special Adviser to the Executive Secretary of CBD, he was responsible for the preparations for the First Conference of the Parties held in Nassau, Bahamas, in December of that year.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Djoghlaf held a variety of important posts in the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was advisor on environmental issues to the Prime Minister of Algeria and, prior to that, to three Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.

He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Nancy, France, as well as four other post graduate degrees including Master of Arts, Government and Politics from St. John’s University, New York and a Law degree from the University of Algiers.

Dr. Djoghlaf, who holds the rank of Minister Plenipotentiary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, is married and has two children. He and his family now reside in Montreal.

Dr. Djoghlaf speaks Arabic, English and French.

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