Antigua and Barbuda diplomat elected president of UN agencies

Dr Walton ‘Aubrey’ Webson

Antigua and Barbuda Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Walton ‘Aubrey’ Webson, has been elected President of the joint Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

“Ambassador Webson assumes his presidency at a critical year, as 2020 marks the 10-year sprint to achieving the 2030 development agenda,” according to a statement issued by the Antigua and Barbuda government.

“In addition, 2020 is an important year for the development agencies of the United Nations, as the agencies begin to fully implement the reform of the UN development system,” the statement said, noting that the main objective of the UN development system reform is to place sustainable development at the center of the UN’s work. “The reform also seeks to ensure that UN assistance meets member-states’ development expectations in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Ambassador Webson’s presidency is particularly important to Small Island Development States (SIDS), as the UN development system is set to approve an overhaul of the Multi-Country Offices of the UN development system that are all located within SIDS.”

Webson said he was delighted at the election. “I take [the role] seriously because the UN development system is facing a critical juncture, one where the system is facing serious funding gaps and a system that isn’t necessarily delivering to those in need and most at risk.”