On Tuesday, June 5th, 2012, Michael Zammit Cutajar was admitted to France’s highest civilian order for his dedicated work on climate change. Mr. Zammit Cutajar was chosen for his contributions to the field of climate change and his continued engagement in environmental negotiations at the United Nations. Mr. Zammit Cutajar was made a Knight of the Légion d’honneur by French Ambassador Michael Vandepoorter at the embassy residence in Żebbuġ, Malta. “I am most grateful to the French government, through its ambassador to Malta, for its recognition of my work over the last two decades,” said Mr. Zammit Cutajar.
As Malta’s Ambassador for Climate Change until 2011, Mr. Cutajar played a key role in negotiations for stronger international action on climate change. He served as chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol and chair of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action. “I am also grateful to the government of Malta for enabling me, as its Ambassador on Climate Change, to take on the stimulating challenge of chairing intergovernmental negotiations,” said Mr. Zammit Cutajar.
In 1991, Mr. Zammit Cutajar helped establish the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He served as Executive Secretary until early 2002 while holding the rank of UN Assistant Secretary-General. “Setting up and leading the climate change secretariat, in Geneva and Bonn, was the high point of my United Nations career and a deep learning experience,” said Mr. Zammit Cutajar.
The ceremony was scheduled to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment which began on June 5th, 1972, in Stockholm. Mr. Cutajar attended the conference. This day is now celebrated as World Environment Day. “The presentation on World Environment Day will be an occasion to think of and thank all the friends and colleagues who helped and supported me over the years,” said Mr. Zammit Cutajar.
Mr. Zammit Cutajar is part of the GEG Project’s network and participated in the 2009 Glion Forum.