Secretary-General, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization; former President and former Vice President, Republic of Ecuador
A central figure in the affairs of Ecuador for many years, Rosalía Arteaga Serrano was vice president in 1996-97 and served briefly as the country’s president during a constitutional crisis in February 1997. Before that she held a number of important government positions, such as minister of education, culture, and sports; president of the National Council of Development; and several other prominent posts in the Ministry of Education and Culture and other areas. She was also a councilwoman in her native city of Cuenca in 1986-88.
Today, as secretary-general of the Brazil-based Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization, she plays a major role in helping to restore the Amazon region and rescue it from the threat of environmental disaster. She works at high levels with the governments of all the countries in the region, whose environmental significance for the entire world is unique. “We are all on the same planet and need to work together,” she said. “Events like the recent tsunami in Asia and the El Niño phenomenon have shown that our world is intertwined.”
A journalist and a lawyer, Ms. Arteaga has written several books and publishes articles and columns regularly in newspapers, magazines, and journals.
© 2006 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.