Isabelle Durant of Belgium takes up her duties on 3 July 2017 as Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD upon appointment by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in consultation with the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi. At the Assistant Secretary-General level, Mrs Durant is replacing Joakim Reiter, from Sweden.
"I warmly welcome Ms. Durant as the first woman Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD in its 52 years of existence. I am confident that her rich political background and experience in public affairs will be a great asset to UNCTAD," said Mr. Kituyi.
"I am very happy to support Dr Kituyi and work with the UNCTAD team to ensure that trade is an engine for development, which delivers to the economy, and the people, without compromising the resources of future generations. The Sustainable Development Goals are our biggest priority. In the current unpredictable international context we must ensure that we build the necessary alliances to deliver on the SDGs. This will be one of my main priorities", declared Ms Durant.
Before her nomination, Isabelle Durant was a member of the Parliament of Brussels-Capital Region. She also served formerly as Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium for four years as well as Vice-President of the European Parliament for the period 2009 to 2014.
As a Senator from 2003-2009, she served on Committees for Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs and participated in many Elections Observation Missions (DRC, Egypt, Tunisia.
She also served in the Belgium Government as the Federal Minister of Transport and Vice-Prime Minister in charge of direct supervision on Energy and Sustainable Development between 1999 and 2003. As such, she chaired alongside the government of the time, the presidency of the European Union and particularly the presidency of the EU Council of Ministers of Transport.
As Vice President of the European Parliament she chaired and participated in different permanent delegation (EU- ACP) countries, following the Cotonou agreement and Economic Partnership Agreements, Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for Mediterranean. She was also a member of the European Parliament Budget Committee in charge of Project bounds and financial transaction tax. She has experience in intergovernmental processes, representation, communication and mobilizing actions.
She also possesses a wealth of knowledge in relations to civil society, private sectors, NGOs and the like, notably as the responsible member for the organization of relations between the European Parliament and civil society (European Citizen Initiative, Citizen Agora).
Ms Durant also served as Senior Expert on Local Governance in Algeria in 2015.She participated in or headed EU Parliamentarian Delegations to Iran, Myanmar and Haiti prior in the period 2009-2014.
Born in Belgium in 1954, Ms. Durant holds a Masters of Science in Economic and Social Policy from Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL). She is married and has 3 children.