Washington DC, Dec. 3, 2012 - It is with great sadness that GEF Secretariat anounces the passing of the colleague and friend Danielius Pivoriunas, last Friday. 

After four years at the GEF, Danielius had become a salient figure in the Secretariat. He was larger than life in so many ways. He was physically imposing with a booming voice that penetrated the walls as he spoke in Russian to focal points in his region. 

He was very dedicated to the area of capacity development and had designed the GEF5 strategy for this part of our portfolio. He truly wanted to see these projects producing concrete, practical and lasting results for the recipient countries. 

His love for the Small Grants Programme (SGP) was well known and as a stern parent he promoted improvements in the way the project was executed by demanding that each country program produce and be accountable for results based on plans submitted as required by the project document. He also wanted to make sure that activity on the ground was supplemented by knowledge management and knowledge products that would show the world the value of SGP. He made sure that this was recognized as the GEF SGP. He was very much appreciated by his colleagues at UNDP and in the field, where he participated in regional meetings and in startup missions for several countries. 

As a country officer he established a remarkable rapport with all focal points and ministers as he communicated fluently in Russian our complicated ways with energy and good humour. He managed to engage them as nobody had before. 

He also worked very closely with civil society organizations and in the words of Faizal Parish of the GEF NGO Network: “With his unique style he played a key role in challenging the GEF NGO Network and CSOs working with GEF to organize themselves better and develop clear strategies and plans for our work.” 

Yet above all his professional abilities he will be remembered for his human touch, his infectious humour and laughter, his love of food and drink and his delight in his family 

He will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace. 

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