San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican named senior position at United Nations

A Tica politician has been named to a top spot at the United Nations, according to a recent announcement by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Former Costa Rican Vice President Rebeca Grynspan, who served under José Figueres between 1994 and 1998, will be second-in-command at the United Nations agency responsible for providing countries with resources to aid in economic growth.

Her official title is under-secretary-general and associate administrator of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP). Since 2006, Grynspan has served as Latin American and Caribbean regional director for the same agency.

She told The Tico Times in February 2004 that she would use Costa Rica as a model of development for the rest of the region, during her time with the United Nations.

“Costa Rica is an exemplary country in the region, it has much to offer,” she said. “Despite the problems it faces right now, if you view it from a historical, structural perspective, considering Costa Rica´s GDP, it should have a much lower standard of living. But it´s able to veer its resources toward its citizens. Our challenge is to keep this up.”

Grynspan, who studied economics at the University of Costa Rica and later sociology at England´s University of Sussex, served as vice minister of finance from 1986 to 1988. Her husband Saúl Weisleder also has been politically active, serving as the former Legislative Assembly president from 1994 to 1998.

In her new post, Grynspan will assist the UNDP administrator, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, in overseeing the agency´s programs, as well as fulfilling other leadership responsibilities.

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