The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Rola Dashti of Kuwait as the next Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
She will succeed Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim of Iraq to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization, Guterres said in a statement late Monday, according to Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA).
The Secretary-General is also appreciative to Mounir Tabet who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Secretary until Dashti assumes her position.
Dashti, a leading Kuwaiti economist and long-time champion of women's rights and gender equality, is currently serving as member of the Supreme Planning Council in Kuwait.
From 2012 to 2014, she was Minister for Planning and Development and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
Dashti played a pivotal role in advocating for the decree to allow Kuwaiti women to vote and run for parliamentary elections, and in May 2009, she with three other women became the first women to be elected to Kuwait's parliament.
She has also held key positions in research and development institutions such as the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and worked for major local and international financial and development institutions such as the National Bank of Kuwait and the World Bank.
Dashti holds a doctorate degree in population dynamics from Johns Hopkins University-Baltimore, a master's degree in economics and finance from California State University-Sacramento, and a bachelor of science in agriculture economics from California State University-Chico.
ESCWA was established in 1973 pursuant to UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution. It has a permanent headquarters in Beirut and includes 18 Arab countries in the Western Asia region.
ESCWA supports economic and social development in member countries, promotes interaction and cooperation between them, encourages the exchange of experience, best practice and lessons learned, aiming to achieve regional integration and ensure interaction between Western Asia and other regions, raising global awareness of the circumstances and needs of member countries Mission.
Its activities are coordinated with the divisions and main offices of the Headquarters of the United Nations, specialized agencies, and international and regional organizations. (QNA)
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