XV World Forestry Congress


Patricia Espinosa


Executive Secretary


On 18 May 2016, the United Nations Secretary-General appointed Patricia Espinosa Cantellano of Mexico as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ms. Espinosa brings more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels in international relations, with a specialization in climate change, global governance, sustainable development, gender equality and protection of human rights. As Mexico's representative in multilateral bodies and international organizations in Vienna, Geneva and New York, Ms. Espinosa has been engaged as a leader in the global challenge to address climate change and its consequences, notably as Chair of the sixteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change leading to the adoption of the Cancun Agreements. Named by the Secretary-General to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, she is a tireless supporter of multilateralism as a way to improve conditions for development in all regions of the world, understanding the inextricable link between the aims of the Paris climate agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Previously Ambassador to Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and United Nations Organizations in Vienna (2002-2006), she was Chief of Staff to the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1989-1991) and responsible for economic issues at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in Geneva (1982-1988). Born in 1958, Ms. Espinosa did her postgraduate studies in international law at the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales in Geneva and holds a degree in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico.