Rattray appointed UN representative for least-developed countries

Jamaican diplomat Courtenay Rattray has been appointed the United Nations’ high representative for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states.

The appointment was announced Monday by UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres who said Rattray succeeds Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu of Tonga.

Rattray is an accomplished diplomat with a distinguished career in the Jamaica Foreign Service. He brings to the position broad-based managerial and leadership experience of working within and across multi-cultural settings with a focus on addressing the developmental challenges faced by countries in special situations, particularly in the area of development finance.

Rattray, who is currently Jamaica’s permanent representative to the UN in New York, also serves as co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing; Children and the SDGs; as well as the Group of Friends of Decent Work.

He has served as chair of several key initiatives, including the 52nd session of the Commission on Population and Development in 2019, co-facilitator for the conclusions and recommendations of the 2018 Financing for Development Forum, chair of the United Nations Permanent Memorial Committee to honour the victims of slavery and chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on UN Security Council Reform.

He is also a past chair of the UN Committee on Disarmament and International Security (First Committee), co-facilitated negotiations for the ministerial declaration of the high-level political forum of the UN Economic and Social Council, and chaired the sixth Biennial Meeting of States on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons.

Prior to his current position, he was Jamaica’s ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in Beijing (2008-2013); director, Bilateral Relations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston, Jamaica (2005 -2008); deputy chief of mission, Embassy of Jamaica, Washington, DC (2001-2005); special adviser to the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Kingston (2000-2001); and special adviser to the minister of industry and investment, Kingston (1999-2000).

Before he joined the Jamaica Foreign Service, Rattray was executive director of the Jamaica Marketing Company in London (1990-1997) and director of marketing and promotions at Jamaica National Export Corporation in Kingston (1987-1988).

Rattray holds a Master of Arts degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; a Master of Arts in International Business from London South Bank University; and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College.

He has been awarded Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by West Virginia Wesleyan College.

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