It is with great sorrow that the United Nations University announces the death of Dr José Viriato Soromenho-Ramos on 21 July 2016.
Dr Soromenho-Ramos was a key person in the establishment of the UNU International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST) in Macau in 1991, and of the UNU Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV) in Guimarães, Portugual, in 2014. He was the first Chairman of the UNU-IIST Advisory Board and acted as a Senior Advisor of UNU. Among other positions in his long and distinguished career, he served asFinancial Controller of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Assistant Treasurer of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In 2009, Dr Soromenho-Ramos was awarded the Portuguese Order of Merit.
Dr Soromenho-Ramos was instrumental in establishing the unique partnership between the Portuguese Government, the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the Government of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) towards jointly supporting the establishment of UNU-IIST. That partnership made possible the smooth development of UNU-IIST into a fully functional UNU institute, and set it on the path towards relevance and growth. It also assured the continuity of the UNU-IIST during and after the transition of Macau from Portuguese to Chinese administration in 1999, and of the transition of UNU-IIST to become the UNU Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in 2015.
Dr Soromenho-Ramos was personally engaged with the establishment of UNU-EGOV based upon the EGOV programme that was started and developed within UNU-IIST between 2004 and 2014. His experience, connections, and advice, all of which he offered generously and selflessly, were invaluable to the project. He combined passion and wisdom, cared about international projects like UNU-IIST and UNU-EGOV, and in general represented the best of the Portuguese tradition of international engagement and statesmanship in the management of international public affairs.