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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Appointments of Mary Robinson as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and Said Djinnit as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 21, 2014


The Secretary welcomes the appointment of Mary Robinson of Ireland as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change. For many years, Ms. Robinson has demonstrated her leadership and personal dedication to advancing just and gender-informed climate change action. The Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice provides an important voice to people around the world who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts, and its advocacy work has helped keep these issues at the forefront of the international climate agenda. The Secretary shares Ms. Robinson’s sense of urgency for action on climate change and looks forward to working closely with Ms. Robinson on the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit and to continue to build momentum toward an international climate change agreement.

The Secretary applauds Ms. Robinson for the great dedication she has shown in her previous role as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Ms. Robinson’s articulation of the region’s Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework Agreement as a “Framework for Hope” set a positive and collaborative tone to her work and engagement in the region from the start. Ms. Robinson worked closely with the U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Russ Feingold, and a team of international envoys, helping to enable unprecedented international cooperation and engagement in the Great Lakes. Her leadership helped turn the Framework Agreement into a living process geared towards sustainable peace and development in the Great Lakes. Her launching of the Great Lakes Women’s Platform and support for regional youth fora will leave a lasting influence in the region for peace and development.

The Secretary also welcomes the appointment of Said Djinnit of Algeria as the new UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Mr. Djinnit brings with him a long history of diplomatic engagement in Africa, having previously served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa as well as the Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union. Mr. Djinnit’s leadership comes at a critical time in the implementation of the Framework Agreement and the United States will continue to work closely with regional leaders and the United Nations in a shared, sustained commitment to the Great Lakes region.

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