Courtenay Rattray began his tenure as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States in July, 2021.
It is the role of the High Representative to mobilize international support in favour of the ninety-one most vulnerable member states of the United Nations. It is his mandate to advocate on their behalf and raise awareness of their economic, social and environmental potential and ensure that the pressing needs of the 1.1 billion people who live there remain high on the international agenda.
As Secretary-General of the forthcoming Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Doha, Qatar, in January 2022, one of Mr Rattray’s first priorities will be to lead the adoption of an ambitious new Programme of Action for the LDCs. This global compact will support the Least Developed Countries through the decade 2022-2031 as they seek to recover from COVID-19, tackle climate change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
A thought leader in development financing, Mr Rattray has decades of experience championing and advocating on behalf of countries in special situations, especially Small Island Developing States.
Mr. Rattray joined OHRLLS from his role as Jamaica’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He also served as Co-chair of the Group of Friends of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing; Children and the SDGs; as well as the Group of Friends of Decent Work.
Prior to his work at the United Nations, Mr. Rattray served as Jamaica’s Ambassador to China (2008-2013); Director of the Bilateral Relations Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston (2005 -2008); Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., (2001-2005); Special Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (2000-2001); and Special Adviser to the Minister for Industry and Investment (1999-2000).
Before he joined the Jamaican foreign service, he served as Executive Director of the Jamaica Marketing Company in London (1990-1997) and Director of Marketing and Promotions at the Jamaica Trade & Investment Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO) in Kingston (1987-1988).
Mr. Rattray holds a Master of Arts degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States, a Master of Arts in International Business from the London South Bank University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College in the United States. He was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) by West Virginia Wesleyan College.