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Abdel Hamid Bouab become Chief of the United Nations, Public Finance and Private Sector Development on 1 June 1995. At the time of his appointment by the Secretary-General, Mr. Bouab had been Chief of Resource Mobilization at the United Nations, since May 1991, Senior Economic Affairs Officer in charge of Public Finance and Enterprise Management, since January 1985 and Economic Affairs Officer in charge of Development Planning Advisory Services and the Division of Public Finance and Financial Institutions from May 1970 until 1985. Prior to his appointment at the United Nations, Mr. Bouab served as a Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations from 1969 to 1970.

Mr. Bouab become the Secretary of numerous United Nations bodies and committees including the Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters since 1971, the Group of Experts on Resource Mobilization for Development in 2000, the Group of Experts on Public Accounting and Auditing in 1997, Enterprise Liaison Service and of the Secretary-General drafting Working Group on Financing for Development. He was mandated and reported on the work of these bodies to the United Nations General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.

Background

Mr. Bouab has had a long association with international affairs as a diplomat, economist, jurist, scholar and widely published author. He has many professional and academic associations related to his background in law, economics, finance, fiscal affairs, governance, public accounting and auditing, corporate governance, international affairs and political science, among them his membership in the Institute of International Affairs, the African Society of Political Studies, the International Fiscal Association, the Council of Executive Secretaries of Tax Organizations, the International Federation of Accountants, the International Association of University Presidents, the New York Academy of Sciences, etc.

Mr. Bouab received a Ph. D. from Toulouse University in 1968. He also received University Diplomas of the Ecole Superieure de Commerce et d’Administration des Entreprises de Toulouse (ESCAET) in 1965, the Institut d’Etudes et des Pays En Voie de Developpement de Toulouse in 1966 and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Toulouse in 1967. Mr. Bouab also received the Certificat d’Etudes Juridiques du Diplome d’Etudes Comptables Superieures (DECS) from Paris University in 1968 and the Certificat d’Etudes Economiques du Diplome d’Etudes Comptables Superieures (DECS) from Paris University in 1968. He is fluent in Arabic, French, English, Spanish and Russian.

Mr. Bouab was born in Fes, Morocco on 13 November 1943. He is married to the former Sigrid Holm-Andersen. They have two children.

Mr. Bouab at the United Nations

Since assuming his responsibilities at the United Nations on 18 May 1970, Mr. Bouab has been actively involved in advancing the work of the Organization on Economic and Social Development. His priority has been to strengthen the work of the Organization in order to enable it to realize the goals of the Charter and the objectives of peace, development and democracy. His work evolved towards reinvigorated and expanded vision of development in an increasingly complex world.

Mr. Bouab approached economic and social development as a process built upon the foundations of peace and democracy, coupled with the optimal management of resources and respect for the environment. In addition to the protection of human rights as an integral part of development, Mr. Bouab’s approach focused on meeting the objectives of good governance at both national and international levels, ensuring transparency and accountability in the financial, monetary and trading systems as well as removing obstacles developing and transitional economy countries face in mobilizing the resources needed to finance their sustained development. In short, Mr. Bouab promoted policies and programmes which include:

  • good governance that is based on participation in the rule of law with strong focus on combating corruption, mismanagement and appropriate measures for private investment;
  • relevant macroeconomic and fiscal policies, including clear goals for the mobilization of tax and non-tax revenues
  • responsible public spending on basic education and health, the rural sector and women;
  • reformed, well-functioning and diverse regulatory frameworks and financial systems that allocate savings to those capable of investing efficiently, including micro-finance borrowers;
  • investment policies that treat domestic as well as foreign investors fairly and reduce vulnerability to financial crisis;
  • increased levels in official development assistance to finance necessary infrastructure and attract capital flows, and;
  • improving international income and allocation through tax treaty negotiations.

In implementing these policies and programmes Mr. Bouab worked with Governments, Civil Society, Private Sector and International Organizations on the basis of strategies that include:

  • normative research and training programmes aimed at enhancing human resource capabilities;
  • capacity building and technical assistance to strengthen domestic and external financial resource mobilization, improved public financial management and expenditure rationalization, promote transparency and accountability in the rule of law, reform the public accounting and auditing systems as well as the financial sector, create an enabling environment for private sector and civil society development, investment and entrepreneurship, and build productive capacities to make globalization work for developing and transitional economy countries’.
Mr. Bouab’s own vision of development was set out by normative, policy advice and technical assistance to developing and transitional economy countries’ governments and institutions. It was further sharpened by a series of landmark International Summit Conferences on the Economic Advancement of Women, held in Geneva in February 1992, Environment and Development, held at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Human Rights, held at Vienna in 1993, Population and Development, held in Cairo in 1995, Social Development, held at Copenhagen in 1996, Financing for Development, held at Monterrey in 2001. Mr. Bouab sees these series of conferences as offering unique opportunities to raise levels of awareness and set norms and standards. In these conferences and summits, Member States, Non-Governmental and Corporate Organizations as well as concerned individuals, work together to create a global commitment to all aspects of development. They have indeed, resulted in a comprehensive concept of development and public-private partnership.

During the course of his career, Mr. Bouab worked extensively with and mobilized financial resources for development from multilateral and bilateral Official Development Agencies and private sector organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF, the European Union, the Inter American Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the Canadian International Development Agency, DANIDA, SIDA, etc. Mr. Bouab has also traveled to more than 60 countries to represent the United Nations, offer policy advice, and implement technical assistance programmes. He also participated in meetings with governments and private sector officials, conferences, seminars, training workshops and symposia.

Among other professional and academic activities Mr. Bouab was Professor of Economics, Money & Banking, Financial Management, International Business, International Trade, Comparative Economic Systems at Farleigh Dickinson University and Pace University (1970-88). He also was a member of Pace University’s Executive Council (1983-88) and a member of the Executive Committee and Special Advisor to the President of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP). Mr. Bouab is a frequent speaker at universities and corporate institutions on subjects related to the role of the United Nations in the world today, economic and political sciences, globalization and the need for the development of the private sector and reform of the financial sector. He also worked and consulted with central, commercial and investment banks and held directorship positions with Johnson & Johnson Morocco, Budget, Scanner Auto and other corporate organizations.

Mr. Bouab was a member of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and provided financing and lending to a number of Countries and public and private enterprises; he also worked with and provided managerial consultancy to a number of enterprises such as Shell-Morocco, Compagnie Francaise de Credit et de Banque Toulouse, Banque Nationale de Paris, and Credit Lyonnais in Paris and Toulouse.

Mr. Bouab is the Founding Trustee and President of the Moroccan-American Foundation and the Moroccan-American Healthcare Foundation, both Institutions dedicated to mutual cooperation in the areas of higher education, economic, financial and capital markets development, tourism, technology transfer, healthcare and private sector development.

Mr. Bouab has received awards from several countries, which include Burkina Faso, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Gabon and Russian Federation.