Monique Barbut served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 1 October 2013 to 5 February 2019.
Ms. Barbut has been committed to the issues of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought through her previous work as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). During her tenure, the Fourth GEF Assembly amended the GEF Instrument to list UNCCD among the treaties for which the facility acts in the role of financial mechanism.
Prior to joining the GEF, she served as Director of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics at the United Nations Environment Programme (2003-2006). From 1996 to 2003, Ms. Barbut held different positions in the Agence Française pour le Développement (AFD). Her work there related to the French aid system, particularly sustainable project financing activities in the French overseas territories, and activities relating to ex-post evaluation.
Ms. Barbut attended the first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP1) to the UNCCD as a delegate of the Government of France. She attended COP9 in Buenos Aires as key note speaker and substantively contributed to its outcomes.
Among the high points of Ms. Barbut's leadership at UNCCD were COP12 in Ankara, Türkiye and COP13 in Ordos, China, the main outcomes of which have been related to land degradation neutrality (LDN). With the international community taking a stand against land degradation trends on a global level and LDN becoming a clear target for 2030, the launch of the multimillion public-private LDN Fund has been another remarkable achievement. During Ms. Barbut's mandate, the convention also worked with country Parties to establish the 3SIntiative that promotes sustainability, stability and security in Africa, as well as the Drought Initiative that works to build resilience of communities and ecosystems to future droughts.