The Chair of the Platform          The Vice-Chair of the Platform



Mr. Achim Steiner, Envoy of the Chair


Mr. Achim Steiner was appointed as Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement by the Federal Government of Germany on 13th of October 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. He acts as the representative of the Chair in high-level public events, promoting the work and objectives of the Platform and providing advice to the Chair and the Steering Group of the Platform on the strategic priorities and on the Workplan’s strategic direction.

Since 1st of September 2016, Mr. Steiner also serves as Director of the Oxford Martin School. Prior to joining the University of Oxford he served as United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016). Mr. Steiner has led a number of institutions as Chief Executive, including as Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). He has lived and worked in Oman, UK, India, Pakistan, Germany, Zimbabwe, USA, Vietnam, South Africa, Switzerland and Kenya.


Prof. Walter Kaelin, Adviser to the Chair


Professor Walter Kaelin acts as the Adviser to the Chair, for legal and strategic issues of relevance to the Strategic Framework, the Workplan and activities of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. In this role, Prof. Kaelin also stimulates legal research and promotes partnership with relevant legal academic and research communities in view of supporting normative and policy development in gap areas regarding cross-border disaster-displacement.

Prof. Kaelin was the Envoy of the Chairmanship of the Nansen Initiative. He is professor emeritus of constitutional and international law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Bern, and served as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee until 2014. From 2004 until 2010, he was the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, and in the 1990s, he was the Special Rapporteur of the former United Nations Human Rights Commission on the situation of human rights in Iraqi occupied Kuwait.