Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Albert Tevoedjre of Benin as his Special Envoy for Côte d'Ivoire today.
Prior to his appointment, from 1996 to 1999, Mr. Tevoedjre was Minister for Planning, Economic Rehabilitation and Employment Promotion of Benin. In the absence of the President of the Republic, he often assumed the position of "Head of Government". From 1991 to 1996, he was a member of the High Council of the Republic and then Deputy at the National Assembly, where he was President of the Commission for External Relations, Cooperation, Defence and Security.
Mr. Tevoedjre began his career after his country's accession to independence in August 1960, when he -- - a former leader of the Federation of Black Africa students in France and co-founder of the African Movement for National Liberation -- - was appointed State Secretary and Minister of Information. He held that position until his nomination as Secretary-General of the Union of African and Malagasy States. After his departure from that organization in 1963, he lectured in political science at the Institut Africain in Geneva and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Between 1964 and 1965 he was research fellow at Harvard University (United States).
Recruited in 1965 as a labour planning expert at the International Labour Organization (ILO), he was appointed in 1966 Regional Coordinator for Africa with residence in Addis Ababa, and then promoted to Under-Director-General in 1969. In 1974, Mr. Tevoedjre was appointed Director of the International Institute for Social Studies with rank of Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Office.
At the end of the 1970s, he accepted a number of teaching assignments in the field of political science. In 1976-1978, he was an Associate Professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris; in 1977-1978 -- a Herskowitz Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, United States; and in 1977-1979 -- - a Visiting Professor at Université nationale de Côte d'Ivoire.
Mr. Tevoedjre is an author of several publications and numerous articles on Africa's political, economic and social development. His 1980 book "Poverty, wealth of mankind" was awarded the "Prix de la vie économique" in Paris. He has also participated in numerous international conferences and scientific events.
In 1984, he concentrated his efforts on the World Association for Social Prospects (AMPS), which he created in 1976 following the world conference on the social implications of a new international economic order. In 1987, he founded the Centre Pan Africain de Prospective Sociale (CPPS) -- a research and training institution, which also implements socio-economic programmes in Africa. Since 1999, he has acted as Coordinator for the "Millennium for Africa" Project, which operates under the aegis of the United Nations.
A member of the Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-mer (Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences) of Belgium, the Club of Rome and several scholarly societies throughout the world, Mr. Tevoedjre has been awarded honorary titles in many countries, including the Medal of the Council of Europe, the Palmes Académiques Françaises and the Médaille Internationale Humanitaire (International Humanitarian Medal). He actively contributes to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), especially the cultural, social and political dimensions of the AIDS epidemic.
Born in Porto-Novo on 10 November 1929, Mr. Tevoedjre studied at the Universities of Toulouse (France) and Fribourg (Switzerland), at the Geneva Institut des Hautes études Internationales and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston (United States). He holds a doctorate degree in social sciences and economics, and a license in history.
Albert Tevoedjre is married to Isabelle Ekue, a literature professor who is also involved in the struggle against female genital mutilation. They have three sons and three grandchildren.