Mervat Tallawy

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Mervat M. Tallawy was appointed by UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, as ESCWA Executive Secretary at the level of Under Secretary-General on November 22, 2000. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Tallawy was Secretary-General of the National Council for Women in Egypt. She served as Minister for Insurance and Social Affairs of Egypt (1997-1999) after a long and distinguished career in foreign affairs and public service.

Ms. Tallawy has held several leadership positions in the United Nations' intergovernmental processes, including chairing the following: the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the negotiation committee of the Cairo Conference on Population and Development, the Committee on Health of the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995, and the meeting that prepared and adopted the decision on prevention of violence against women in 1992. She was the Rapporteur General of the UN Conference on the Convention for Drug Control in 1988 and was appointed Deputy Director to the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

Ms. Tallawy served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Egypt to Japan (1993-1997) and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt in charge of International Political and Economic Affairs (1991-1993). She also served as Chief Negotiator of the Egyptian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Conference: The Multilateral Talks on Regional Economic Cooperation (Brussels, Paris and Rome, 1991-1993). In addition, she served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Egypt to Austria and Resident Representative of Egypt to IAEA, UNIDO, and UN Centre for Social and Humanitarian Affairs in Vienna (1988-1991).

Ms. Tallawy has initiated ideas for and participated in drafting a number of key international documents, including the UN declaration on Protection of Women and Children in Times of Armed Conflict, the African agreement on cooperation with the IAEA on civilian use of nuclear technology and the right to development, and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). In June 1998, Ms. Tallawy headed the Egyptian Delegation to the UN Special Session on review of the UN Convention on drug control and illicit trafficking.

Ms. Tallawy has B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration from American University in Cairo, 1961. She has a graduate degree from The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva University, Switzerland.

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