The WMO Secretariat thanks outgoing Secretary-General Michel Jarraud who stands down on 31 December 2015. He devoted more than 21 years to the organization, of which 12 were spent as Secretary-General.
During Mr Jarraud's tenure, WMO increased its profile as the UN system's authoritative voice on weather, climate and water. Mr jarraud strengthened WMO's scientific and technical programmes, forged new strategic alliances and partnerships to build capacity and mobilize resources. He increased the transparency and effectiveness of the WMO Secretariat. He also oversaw major events such as the International Polar Year 2007-2008 and the World Climate Conference-3, which led to the establishment of the Global Framework for Climate Services. Mr Jarraud became chair of UN Water in 2012.
Mr Jarraud's term in office coincided with rapid advances in meteorology.
“Information on weather and climate, and its variability and change, is so embedded in our everyday life — from daily weather forecasts to seasonal climate predictions — that at times it is easy to forget the amount of observations, research, computing and analysis that lies behind weather and climate information products," he said.
"Scientific progress in meteorology and climatology in the last fifty years is indeed among the most signifcant in all scientific disciplines.”
Mr Jarraud told a farewell at WMO headquarters that his fascination with the weather started when he was nine years old and his parents bought him a personal weather station. For three years he took daily weather measurements and observations that he annotated in his logbook.
“At that time, the World Meteorological Organization had been in existence for only ten years, and I did not know about it. But, more importantly, I did not know that one day I would have the responsibility to direct it and those who watch the weather, the climate and water resources of the world,” said Mr Jarraud.
In recognition of his service to WMO, Congress has given Mr Jarraud the honorary title of Secretary-General Emeritus.