CMSOnAir | Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

CMSOnAir | Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés

This episode of CMSOnAir features Her Excellency Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, president of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. She is only the fourth woman to hold this position in the history of the world body, and the first since 2006.

For more than 20 years, President Espinosa Garcés has worked in the areas of international negotiations, peace-building, security, defense, disarmament, human rights, indigenous peoples, gender equality, sustainable development, environment, biodiversity, climate change and multilateral cooperation. She has served her native Ecuador as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Defence, and Coordinating Minister of Natural and Cultural Heritage. She also served as Special Adviser to the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of Ecuador in 2008. That same year, she became the first woman to serve as Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York.

Before beginning her political and diplomatic career, President Espinosa Garcés was Associate Professor and Researcher at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede Ecuador. She has written over 30 academic articles about the Amazon region, culture, heritage, sustainable development, climate change, intellectual property, foreign policy, regional integration, defense and security. President Espinosa Garcés holds a master’s degree in social sciences and Amazonian studies and a postgraduate diploma in anthropology and political science from the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede Ecuador, as well as a bachelor’s degree in applied linguistics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in environmental geography at Rutgers University.

In this CMSOnAir, President Espinosa Garcés speaks with Kevin Appleby, CMS’s senior director of international migration policy, on global migration issues in advance of the upcoming intergovernmental conference to adopt the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, which will be held this December in Marrakesh, Morocco.

More information about the UN General Assembly is available at