By Prudence Arobani
The UN General Assembly on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Germany’s Achim Steiner as the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Steiner’s nomination for UNDP headship was forwarded to the General Assembly by Secretary-General António Guterres following consultations with UNDP’s Executive Board.
Guterres announced the four-year appointment of Steiner, which begins on April 20, according to a statement issued by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Mr Stephane Dujarric.
Guterres noted that Steiner “brings to his new position “extensive senior leadership experience both at the grassroots and at the highest levels of international policymaking addressing environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic development”.
Among his most recent experiences, Steiner was the head of the UN Environment Programme and Director-General of the UN Office in Nairobi.
The Secretary-General thanked outgoing UNDP Administrator Helen Clark of New Zealand, whom Guterres called “a highly effective communicator” and champion of development, among myriad key attributes.
The UNDP is the largest of the independently funded UN agencies.
Under its special General Assembly mandate, it leads the world body’s work on eradicating extreme poverty and promoting good governance in the developing world.