Inger Andersen of Denmark is to become the new
head of the UN Environment Programme, according to the unsuccessful
German candidate for the post, Jochen Flasbarth.
Flasbarth, who is a secretary of state in the German environment ministry, congratulated Andersen on Twitter on Friday, adding: "The UN will have with you a strong leader and advocate for the global environment!"
The UN has not yet officially announced the appointment.
Andersen has been head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2015 and previously held various posts with the World Bank and the United Nations. She succeeds the Norwegian Erik Solheim, who resigned in November, after irregularities in the billing of missions had come to light. The 64-year-old justified himself by saying extensive travel was important in order to make the work of the UN environmental programme more visible.
Flasbarth, 56, is expected to remain in the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, where he has been a secretary of state since 2013; previously he was president of the Federal Environment Agency. He was also up for the post of UN environment chief in 2016, but lost out to Solheim.
The UN Environment Programme is based in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The programme coordinates the environmental activities of the UN, develops policy instruments for international environmental protection and advises countries. Every two years, heads of state and government, environment ministers and experts gather for a UN environmental summit in Nairobi. The next meeting is in March.
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