2017 SCF Forum biographies: Paul Oquist Kelley
Paul Oquist Kelley

Dr. Paul Oquist Kelley is Minister - Private Secretary for National Policies of the President of the Republic of Nicaragua, Commander Daniel Ortega Saavedra. In recent years, Dr. Oquist has held positions representing Nicaragua, and the Latin American and Caribbean Group in United Nations and other instances related to the fight against climate change.


Dr. Oquist is in his second term as member of the Standing Committee on Finance of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), representing the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) and in 2014 Dr. Oquist was named by the Standing Committee on Finance as the representative of developing countries at the UNFCCC Interim Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage. Dr. Oquist has made several substantive presentations at SCF Forums.


Dr. Oquist actively supported the proposal for the formation of the Green Climate Fund at COP-16 (Cancun, 2010). He also served on the Transitional Committee which designed a proposal for the organization of the Green Climate Fund (2010). In the final negotiation of the Green Climate Fund approval resolution at COP-17 (Durban, 2011), Nicaragua was appointed by the G-77 to represent developing countries, while the United States represented the developed countries.

Dr. Oquist is currently a member of the Green Climate Fund Board (2016-2018). Nicaragua shares a seat with Antigua and Barbuda, and the Republic of Cuba, under the role rotation system.


Dr. Oquist has been Head of Delegation at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from COP 16 trough COP22 and has been designated for COP 23. He was a member of the Delegation of Nicaragua during COP 15, held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009. He was the Spokeperson and Negociator of the ALBA Group that proposed successfully to “take note” of Copenhagen Agreement that circumvented the multilateral negotiating process.

At COP 21 Dr. Oquist presented the position of Nicaragua to not accept the Paris Agreement inasmuch as it is insufficient to achieve its own objectives of limiting the global average temperature rise to 2 ° C with the ambition of reducing to 1.5 ° C to minimize ecosystems damage.


Dr. Oquist was Senior Advisor to the President of the 63rd United Nations General Assembly, and in this capacity the President appointed him as Negotiating Chief of the Agreement on Financing for Development, approved in Doha in December 2008, and Coordinator Of the United Nations Summit on the Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, held in June 2009 in New York.

Dr. Oquist was Regional Expert on Governance for the Asia Division of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) based in Islamabad, Pakistan (1998-2006). He was Senior Technical Adviser for the UNDP Management Program in Mongolia (1993-1998) and Director of UNDP Public Administration Projects in Quito, Ecuador (1975-1979). In addition, Dr. Oquist was a consultant for UNDP and UNICEF at the highest level of government in Colombia, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and the Philippines. He was a member for two consecutive terms (2010-2017) of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)


He was Head of Delegation of Nicaragua at the 4th session of the Assembly of IRENA, to the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi (January 2014) and in Hungary (October 2013); The Round Table on Collaboration with Latin America and the Caribbean (2013); And the III Congress on Protected Maritime Areas (October 2013).

In 2017, he was Head of Delegation to the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) held in Cartagena.

He represented the Presidency of General Assembly of the United Nations in 2009 NOAL Summit in Havana. He represented Nicaragua in the NOAL Ministerial Meeting in Bali (2011).


In 1976 he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, California. His doctoral dissertation "Violence, Conflict and Politics in Colombia" was published in Spanish and English. In 1968 he earned his Master degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, California and in 1965 he obtained his Bachelor in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1967 undertook Postgraduate studies in the Latin American School of Political Science and Public Administration, of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Santiago, Chile.

Dr. Oquist was professor of Political Science at the University of Andes (Bogota, Colombia) and FLACSO (Chile and Ecuador), and at the Latin American School of Economics (ESCOLATINA) of the University of Chile.

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