19 February 2008

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note





United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Philippe Douste-Blazy, of France, as his Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development, serving on a $1 per year salary with the rank of Under-Secretary-General.  Mr. Douste-Blazy currently serves as Chairman of the Executive Board of UNITAID, the International Drug Purchase Facility hosted by the World Health Organization.

The Special Adviser will promote UNITAID and other sources of innovative financing for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and ensure that they are coordinated with the global development agenda, in accordance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.  He will advise the Secretary-General on the contribution of innovative financing solutions to the implementation of the Monterrey consensus, starting with the preparation of the Doha Follow-Up International Conference on Financing for Development scheduled in November 2008.  Closely coordinating his work with the High-Level Group on the Millennium Development Goals, especially in Africa, the Special Adviser will liaise with the main BrettonWoods institutions, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) and the other members of the United Nations family, foremost amongst them United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Development Group and the Millennium Communication Campaign.

He will also organize the first World Conference of Non-Governmental Donors, with a particular focus on the financing for development provided by citizens, local and regional authorities, foundations, non-governmental organizations, economic and social representatives, faith groups and the private sector.

As official development assistance is still insufficient to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sees the urgency for innovative sources of funding to be developed and promoted worldwide to fill this critical gap.  The results obtained by UNITAID in the global health field since its creation in 2006 demonstrate that innovative financing for development works.

Born in 1953, Philippe Douste-Blazy has combined a successful career as a doctor with a long-standing service of the Government of France.

After graduating in medical studies in Toulouse (south-western France), he worked as a cardiologist and became Professor of Medicine at the Toulouse Sciences University in 1988.

He then was elected to the European Parliament in 1989, the beginning of a very active political engagement.  Philippe Douste-Blazy has held a number of major positions inside the French Government:  twice Minister for Health (1993-1995, 2004-2005), Minister of Culture (1995-1997) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2007).  He also held several local and parliamentary mandates.

During his term as the leader of French diplomacy, he strongly advocated for the creation of UNITAID and the implementation in France (July 2006) of a solidarity contribution on airline tickets aimed at supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular in the health sector.  In March 2007, Philippe Douste-Blazy was elected President of the Executive Board of UNITAID, for a two-year term.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record