The UNFPA Representative, Dr. Luay Shabaneh, today officially presented his credentials to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

His Excellency, the Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jauhar Saleem, received Dr. Shabaneh’s letters of credence. During the meeting, the Honorable Secretary and the UNFPA Representative discussed issues of mutual interest to strengthen further the strategic collaboration between UNFPA and the Government of Pakistan.

Earlier, Dr. Shabaneh arrived in Islamabad on 30 September 2022 to take up his new assignment. “I would like to acknowledge, with appreciation, the Government of Pakistan’s tireless efforts to meet the urgent needs of the population, particularly women and girls, by providing access to lifesaving sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services. We also remain committed to continuing our support towards the Government’s humanitarian response and post-disaster national action plan,” said Dr. Shabaneh.

Dr. Shabaneh will be leading the 10th Country Programme Cycle (2023-27) in Pakistan mainly aiming at reducing preventable maternal deaths, unmet needs for family planning, and gender-based violence and harmful practices, including child marriage in Pakistan. The UNFPA programme is fully aligned with the national priorities, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), and Family Planning 2020 commitments.

Dr. Shabaneh has served in his previous position as the UNFPA Regional Director of Arab States from May 2016 to August 2022. A native of Palestine, Dr. Shabaneh joined the United Nations Systems in 2009. He has held several high-profile national and international public service positions over the last two decades in official statistics, population census, population, and development, monitoring and evaluation, programme management, and advocacy within the UN System, in government, and the multilateral arena. Dr. Shabaneh also served as the President of Palestine Central Burau of Statistics.

Within the Arab region, Dr. Shabaneh also served as the chair and board member in several regional professional and research committees, such as the Chair of the Statistical Committee of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Chair of the Arab Regional Statistical Forum, and as a board member in the following: the Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics, the MENA Health Policy Forum, the Palestine Economic Research Institute and the Arab Women Center for Training and Research.

Dr. Shabaneh holds a PhD in Applied Social Statistics from Lancaster University, UK, a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Jordan, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Baghdad University.