Along with his personal greetings offered to staff, which he will continue through the week, Dr. Kituyi sent an e-mail telling the organization's employees:
It is an immense pleasure and a privilege for me to join you as the next Secretary-General of UNCTAD. I have long been an admirer of the organization's work, and a strong believer in its cause. As such, I am both humbled and inspired by the opportunity to contribute to its rich traditions and to shape its future.
He also stressed that the staff and its ability to work as a team are the most vital resource that the organization has, and its greatest hope. As he told the directors in their first meeting together, few institutions can match UNCTAD's intellectual weight, and the organization can and must play a prominent and vital role in the global debate on development in the coming months and years.
He noted that his term is beginning shortly before the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, and at a time when UNCTAD's work on matters such as global value chains and financial market reforms is assuming increasing importance as global debate intensifies on the post-2015 development agenda.
"In my previous national capacity I followed UNCTAD's work," he said. "I have some idea of what's needed, but I cannot do it without the positive engagement of all staff."
Dr. Kituyi has extensive experience in African as well as broader international trade and economic matters, and served three terms in the Kenyan Parliament beginning in 1992. He was the country's Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007.
Immediately prior to becoming Secretary-General, he was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance, a think tank and advocacy organization based in Nairobi.
Noting UNCTAD's increasing involvement with civil society, he said, "I come from a civil society background and I have always supported a strong voice for civil society in policymaking."