H.E. Rubens Ricupero

H.E. Rubens Ricupero, Former Minister of Finance and Secretary General of UNCTAD, Academic, Economist, and Diplomat, Brazil.

Currently in charge of the José Bonifácio Chair of Ibero-American Studies at the University of São Paulo, Rubens Ricupero was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and International Relations of Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP), a private foundation in São Paulo, Brazil, from 2005 to 2021.
Between l995 and 2004, he was for two consecutive terms the Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the trade and development analytical arm of the United Nations in Geneva. Before that, he had been Minister of Finance and Economy of Brazil (1994), succeeding Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who had left the post to run for president. In that capacity, he supervised the preparation and launching of the new currency, the real, one of the decisive phases of the Real Plan that brought to an end more than 30 years of chronically high inflation in the country. In 1993-94, Rubens Ricupero was Brazil’s Minister of the Environment and Amazonian Affairs, an area where he had accumulated a long experience as, among other functions, the main Brazilian negotiator of the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation in the late 1970s and Chairman of the Negotiation Group on Finance, during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the Rio Climate Summit, in 1992, in Rio de Janeiro. For several decades, he has been associated with international trade negotiations, as the chief Brazilian negotiator during most of the duration of the Uruguay Round of the GATT (1987-1991). During that period, he occupied all the main posts of the GATT, as Chairman of the GATT Development Committee (1989), Chairman of the GATT Council of Representatives (1990), Chairman of the GATT Contracting Parties (1991), Coordinator and spokesperson for the Informal Group of Developing Countries in the GATT (1988-1992). In Presidents Tancredo Neves-José Sarney’s Administration, he was Deputy-Chief of the Presidential staff and Special Adviser to the President (1985-1987). For 36 years, he was a career diplomat, reaching the posts of Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, at Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.
He represented Brazil as Ambassador at the GATT and the United Nations Organization, Geneva (1987-1991), Ambassador to the United States of America (1991-1993) and Ambassador to Italy (1995). Rubens Ricupero was born in São Paulo in March 1st, 1937, and he studied Law at the University of São Paulo. He was a Professor of Theory of International Relations at the University of Brasilia and of History of Brazilian Diplomatic Relations at the Rio Branco Institute, the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy. He published several books and articles on international trade, development issues and international relations. His most recent book is A Diplomacia na Construção do Brasil 1750-2016 (2017), a history of Brazilian diplomacy and foreign policy. He is married to Marisa P. Ricupero and has four children. He speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, and Italian and reads German.