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Secretary-General Appoints Bader Al Dafa of Qatar as Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA

New York-Beirut

New York-Beirut,30 July (United Nations Information Centre)--United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Mr. Bader Al-Dafa of Qatar as Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

Mr. Al-Dafa has recently served as Ambassador of Qatar to the United States and Permanent Observer to the Organization of American States (OAS. In this capacity,he played a special role in promoting access to education and the arts in the Arab-American community and among other minority populations in the United States.

Mr. Al-Dafa has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in foreign affairs and
non-governmental services, which has included representing Qatar as Ambassador to the Russian Federation, France, Egypt, and Spain. He has also served as the non-resident Ambassador to Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland, and Mexico. Mr. Al Dafa has also served as Director of the European and American Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Highlights of Mr. Al-Dafa’s service with international NGOs include supervision of programs for building housing for families with limited income in Africa and participation in land mine removal programs in the Balkans. In addition, he has actively participated in fund- raising programs with various children’s hospitals that support the social needs of children in Asia and in North America and helped to raise funds and support for the empowerment of women in North Africa and Central Asia. He has also been involved in organizing conferences on democracy and free trade and inter-religious dialogue.

Wherever he has served, Mr. Al-Dafa has focused on international arts and culture as a means to build better understanding between the Arab world and the international community. To this end, he has hosted many international art exhibitions and cultural events.

At the local level, Mr. Al-Dafa has championed education through the Qatar Foundation by helping prominent US universities establish themselves in Doha’s "Education City". He is also instrumental in supporting religious freedom in Qatar by coordinating with various religious communities.

Mr. Al-Dafa received his Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University and his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Economics from Western Michigan University in the United States. He has been awarded the Order Du Mérite from the Republic of France.

Mr. Al-Dafa is married to Awatef Al-Dafa and has one son and two daughters. He is fluent in Arabic, English, and Spanish and speaks nascent French.