Former Norway’s Environment Minister to head UNEP

By Charles Ogallo.

Mr Erik Solhein, New UNEP Chief.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Mr Erik Solhein , the former Norway’s Minister for the Environment as the next Executive Director of the Nairobi based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

 Mr Solhein who is currently the chairman of the Development Assistance Committee of the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD was appointed Tuesday following consultations between the UN Secretary General and  the Chairpersons of the regional groups of member states.

“United Nations Secretary Genral Ban Ki-moon , following consultations with the Chairpersons of the regional groups of member states has informed the General Assembly of his intention to appoint Erik Solhein of Norway as the new Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP” say s a statement released Wednesday  through UNEP website.

Mr. Solhein held also the post of Norway;’s Minister for Environment and International Development between 2007 and 2012. He also served as Norway’s Minister for International Development from 2005 to 2007.

The Norwegian politician had also worked as a diplomat and a participant in the Norwegian delegation that unsuccessfully attempted to resolve the Sri Lankan Civil War before the outbreak of Eelam War IV between 1987 and 1997.

He takes over from Achin Steiner who has led the 44 year old UNEP since 2006

The UNEP’s outgoing Executive Director welcomed the Secretary General’s announcement and congratulated Mr Solhein for his appointment as the sixth Executive Director of the International organization.  

"I congratulate Erik Solhein on his nomination to become the Sixth Executive Director in UNEP’s 44-year history.Mr Solhein was a strong supporter of UNEP during his tenure as Minister of Environment and International Development of Norway and continued to offer his good offices in later years” says Mr Steiner.

Mr. Steiner, a German and Brazilian national, was born in Brazil in 1961.

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