[discuss] New Deputy Secretary-General at UNCTAD

Nick Ashton-Hart nashton at internet-ecosystem.org
Thu Apr 2 17:12:18 UTC 2015

Dear all,

For those of you who follow the work of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) especially the work of the CSTD related to WSIS - it has a new Deputy Secretary-General, Joakim Reiter of Sweden.  (For those who don't know UNCTAD is to developing countries as OECD is to the developed world).

For those of us active in trade policy policy Joakim is a well-known and very well-liked and respected person; he's the former Swedish WTO Ambassador and Sweden's Geneva-based WSIS and Internet Governance policy person reported to him and now reports to his successor.

I think we'll find that UNCTAD becomes a more vibrant and engaged organisation - I can tell you from personal experience that Joakim personally is committed to policies that help real people, and one of his favourite phrases is "In Geneva there are people who make a point, and there are people who make a difference." - he's definitely in the latter camp. As WTO Ambassador he was a strong proponent of the Internet's power to create opportunity and reduce barriers irrespective of geography, and also passionate about the importance of freedom of expression and speech who was very forthright himself and empowered those who worked for him to do the same. 

You can follow him on Twitter @UNCTADReiter - he actually tweeted on his first day on the job, which may well be the first time a DSG-level person has ever done that ;)

Nick Ashton-Hart
Executive Director, Internet & Digital Ecosystem Alliance (IDEA) 
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