On 9 June 2017 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), decided to appoint Isabelle Durant of Belgium as Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD at the Assistant Secretary-General level. Ms. Durant will succeed Joakim Reiter of Sweden to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and commitment to UNCTAD.
Ms. Durant brings to the position a wealth of international experience at the senior level, in the political, diplomatic and development policy at the national, regional and global levels interacting with Governments, the private sector and civil society.
Currently a member of the Parliament of Brussels-Capital Region, Ms. Durant formerly served as Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium for four years, as well as Vice-President of the European Parliament (2009-2014). As a Senator, she served on Committees for Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs and participated in many elections observation missions (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Tunisia) (2003-2009) and also worked in the Belgium Government as Federal Minister of Transport and Vice-Prime Minister in charge of direct supervision on Energy and Sustainable Development (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 European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.
Ms. Durant was Senior Expert on Local Governance in Algeria (2015) and participated in or headed European Union Parliamentarian Delegations to Iran, Myanmar and Haiti prior (2009-2014).
Ms. Durant holds a Master of Science degree in economic and social policy from Université Catholique de Louvain.
Born in 1954, she is married and has three children.