After seven years working in the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Program, Tina Birmpili, is moving on. Here is her farewell message to the ozone community.
With great sadness, I must inform you that, after seven fruitful and happy years, I am leaving my role as executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat to take up a new position as deputy executive secretary at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
It is not that I am sad at the prospect of this new position. The UNCCD is a global instrument as powerful and potentially significant as the Montreal Protocol. I am very much looking forward to helping Ibrahim Thiaw, the UNCCD Executive Secretary, the organization and of course the parties deliver on the convention’s powerful mandate.
I am, however, very sad to be leaving the incredible ozone community.
I have always seen my role as facilitating the parties to the Montreal Protocol to find common ground, as a scout for new possibilities and opportunities to strengthen the Protocol, as a catalyst in bringing science closer to policy.
In these seven years, we have achieved so much. The negotiations that led us to the Kigali Amendment, its entry into force, two replenishment discussions and the milestone of 100 ratifications.
Addressing illegal CFC11 production, the modernization of the Secretariat with an enhanced digital presence and an online reporting system, the relevance of the ozone treaties to the Sustainable Development Goals, an-awareness raising campaign to make people understand the relevance of our work and wellbeing, and a gender strategy for the ozone treaties are some of the incredible steps in this journey.
My successor will be nominated in due course and I will be still around as the Head of the Secretariat until September 30, 2020.
There is so much more to do. Developing synergies with other conventions, helping these other conventions learn from and replicate the work we have done and, of course, achieving universal ratification of the Kigali Amendment.
While I will not directly take part in this journey, rest assured that I am still with you. Just as the Kigali Amendment can make a huge positive impact on climate change and biodiversity, so can the UNCCD. We are all working towards the same goal – a healthy planet that supports a healthy and prosperous human population. In that regard we are, and will remain, colleagues.
Thank you for everything you have done to make the work of the Montreal Protocol such a roaring success. It has been a pleasure to work with you.