Michael Zammit Cutajar devoted most of his career to work in and around the United Nations on
international cooperation for development and environment. In 1991, he set up the secretariat of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and headed it as Executive Secretary
until his retirement early in 2002, holding the rank of Assistant Secretary-General of the United
Between 2002 and 2011, Mr. Zammit Cutajar advised the Government of Malta pro bono on climate change
and international environmental issues. In the capacity of Malta's Ambassador on Climate Change,
he participated in the work of the European Union and the UNFCCC. In the latter framework, he served
as Chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (2006) and as Vice-Chair and Chair of the
Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action (2008-2009) – the two negotiating tracks
then working towards agreement on stronger international action to address climate change.
In that period, he also served on bodies providing advice to the World Bank and the European
Commission, among others. In December 2012, he was appointed to chair a commission entitled
"Guardian of Future Generations", established under Malta's Sustainable Development
Act, 2012, to advocate long-term development interests in public debate and government policy.
In the 2007 Republic Day honours list, Mr. Zammit Cutajar was appointed Member of the National Order
of Merit of Malta. In 2009, he was awarded the Knight's Cross in Hungary's Order of Merit
(Civil Division) and, in 2012, he was made Chevalier of France’s Légion
Mr. Zammit Cutajar – a citizen of Malta, born 1940 - was educated at St. Edward's College,
Malta, and the University of London. His work outside the United Nations framework included
assignments with the Uganda Development Corporation, Kampala (1963-65), the Overseas Development
Institute, London, UK (1965-67) and International Foundation for Development Alternatives, Nyon,
Switzerland (1978-81). The first part of his United Nations career included postings with the UN
Conference on Trade and Development (1967-71, 1974-78, 1986-91) the UN Conference on the Human
Environment (1971-72) and the UN Environment Programme (1972-74).