Franck Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet (born 2 April 1961) is a Gabonese diplomat and political figure who has served in the government of Gabon as Minister of Foreign Affairs since February 2012. He was Gabon's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2008 to January 2009. Afterwards he served in the government of Gabon as Minister of Energy, Hydraulic Resources, and New Energies from January 2009 to June 2009 and then briefly as Minister of Relations with Parliament and the Constitutional Institutions in mid-2009. He was again appointed as Permanent Representative to the UN in November 2009. In March 2010, Issoze-Ngondet was the President of the United Nations Security Council.
Diplomatic and political career
Born in Makokou, Issoze-Ngondet is a member of the Bakota ethnic group. He began working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in 1988; initially he was an Adviser to the Ministry, and he was then Studies Officer (Chargé d'études) at the Division of Treaties and International Conventions from 1988 to 1990. He was posted in Yaoundé as Cultural Counsellor at Gabon's Embassy to Cameroon from 1990 to 1991, and he was First Counsellor at the Embassy to the United Kingdom from 1991 to 1993. Subsequently he was First Counsellor at the Embassy to Canada from 1993 to 1994 and First Counsellor at the Embassy to Germany from 1994 to 1997.
Issoze-Ngondet was the Foreign Ministry's Director for the Americas from 1997 to 1998 and was its Director for Europe from 1998 to 2000. He was then posted in Seoul as Ambassador to South Korea from 2000 to 2006; during that time, he was additionally accredited as Ambassador to Thailand beginning in 2003 and as Ambassador to the Philippines beginning in 2004.
In June 2006, Issoze-Ngondet was posted to Addis Ababa as Ambassador to Ethiopia as well as Permanent Representative to the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Environment Programme. He was additionally appointed as Ambassador to Kenya in August 2007, while continuing to reside in Addis Ababa. During the same period, Issoze-Ngondet was also the Chairman of the African Union's Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons. Amidst discussions regarding the creation of a United States of Africa in early 2008, he suggested that Gabon's place in the proposed continental state could be comparable to California's place in the United States. Acknowledging with amusement that Gabon was not comparable to California in size, he then suggested that it might instead be comparable to Los Angeles.
After two years as Permanent Representative to the African Union, Issoze-Ngondet was sent to New York City as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, presenting his credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 25 August 2008. He was Permanent Representative to the UN for only a few months before being appointed to the Gabonese government as Minister of Energy, Hydraulic Resources, and New Energies on 14 January 2009. Following the death of President Omar Bongo on 8 June 2009, he was moved to the post of Minister of Relations with Parliament and the Constitutional Institutions on 19 June 2009; however, he was dismissed from the government a month later, on 22 July 2009.
At the time of the August 2009 presidential election, Issoze-Ngondet was the coordinator of Ali Bongo's campaign in Ogooué-Ivindo Province. After Bongo won the election, he appointed Issoze-Ngondet to his former post as Permanent Representative to the UN on 5 November 2009.
Personal life and other activities
As of 2008, Issoze-Ngondet is married with five children. He wrote a French language novel, An Ascetic in the Court (Un Ascète dans la cour), which was published by L'Harmattan on 14 February 2007. A career diplomat, he speaks English in addition to French.
- "Gabon : Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet prend ses fonctions à l’ONU", Gaboneco, 26 August 2008 (French).
- "New Permanent Representative of Gabon Presents Credentials", United Nations Press Release, BIO/4013, 25 August 2008.
- "Un gouvernement hypertrophié à l'horizon déjà très bouché...", Africa Intelligence, La Lettre du Continent N°556, 16 January 2009 (French).
- "ICRC president visits African Union headquarters", International Committee of the Red Cross, 8 November 2007.
- Anita Powell, "Power Politics Confound US of Africa", Associated Press, 2 February 2008.
- "Gabon : Frank Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet intègre la nouvelle équipe gouvernementale", InfosPlus Gabon, 22 January 2009 (French).
- "Gabon: Composition du nouveau Gouvernement de Jean Eyeghé Ndong, reconduit dans ses fonctions", Gabonews, 20 June 2009 (French).
- "Six ministres absents sur la liste de la nouvelle équipe gouvernementale", Gabonews, 22 July 2009 (French).
- Désiré Clitandre Dzonteu, "Ali Bongo Ondimba à Makokou - « j'ai besoin de vous pour réaliser l'avenir du pays »", Gabonews, 18 August 2009 (French).
- "Gabon: Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet renoue avec l’ONU", Gabonews, 6 November 2009 (French).
- "Gabon: formation d'un nouveau gouvernement", Agence France-Presse, 28 February 2012 (French).
- "Un ascète dans la cour", Rue des Livres (French).