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Cablegate: Egyptian Named to Senior Un Management Post; Bio

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0583 0641256
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051256Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0160
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3845

UNCLAS CAIRO 000583

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV UNGA PINR EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN NAMED TO SENIOR UN MANAGEMENT POST; BIO
DATA

Sensitive but unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

1. (U) A senior Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
official, Mohamed Shaaban, has been named by UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-Moon as the Under Secretary General for
General Assembly and Conference Management. Shaaban had most
recently served as Egypt's National Coordinator for Reform
Initiatives within the MFA, focused mainly on the Broader
Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) portfolio.

2. (SBU) Post has generally found Ambassador Shaaban
unhelpful and dogmatic, with a mandate to stymie U.S.,
European, and G-8 efforts in the BMENA context. Shaaban was
the GOE's point-person for planning an Egyptian-hosted G-8
and Arab League ministerial scheduled for March 2004, which
the Secretary ultimately declined to attend. Shaaban's
performance at BMENA conferences is characterized by his
negativity, his opposition to meaningful NGO participation,
and by his lawyerly efforts to gut the BMENA programs of
their substantive impact.

3. (U) Text of MFA-provided C.V. for Ambasssador Shaaban:
Muhammad Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General
Assembly and Conference Management.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the
appointment of Ambassador Muhammad Shaaban of Egypt as
Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference
Management. Mr. Shaaban currently serves as National
Coordinator for Reform Initiatives in the Middle East and he
has been Personal Assistant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt
since 2004.

Mr. Shaaban is a seasoned diplomat who is no stranger to the
UN and multilateral diplomacy. He served as Assistant Foreign
Minister for European Affairs (2001-2004). In his capacity,
he was National Coordinator for the Euro-Mediterranean
Partnership, the Mediterranean Forum and the OSCE. He also
served as Assistant Minister for Information, Research and
Assessment (2000-2001) and National Coordinator for
Information, Research and Assessment (2000-2001).
He served as Egypt,s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark
and Lithuania (1998-2000) and Ambassador to Belgium,
Luxembourg and Head of Egypt,s Permanent Mission to the
European Union, Brussels (1993-1997). Between 1997 and 1998,
he was Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, in
charge of coordinating and managing the country,s relations
with African states and the different regional organizations
in Africa. He was chief negotiator for Egypt in the
negotiations on Egypt,s accession to the Common Market for
Eastern and Southern Africa.
Between 1984 and 1988, Mr. Shaaban was Egypt,s
representative to the Second Committee, ECOSOC, UNDP and
various intergovernmental bodies and committees. He was the
Coordinator of the Group of 77 when Egypt held the Presidency
(1985-1986). He was the Spokesman of the African Group
during the 13th Special Session on the Critical Economic
Situation in Africa.
Since 2004, Mr. Shaaban has served as National Coordinator
for Reform Initiatives in the Middle East, managing relations
with different foreign partners and coordinating with
Egyptian governmental departments, political parties, civil
society, and think tanks. In this capacity, he provided
advice to the Foreign Minister on various issues, including
on the restructuring of the Foreign Ministry. He is also
Diplomatic Adviser to the Egyptian Parliament Speaker. In
March 2005, he was the Coordinator-General of the First
Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly,
which was attended by some 600 Euro-Mediterranean
parliamentarians.
Mr. Shaaban was born on 13 June 1942. He holds a Ph.D in
Political Science and an M.A. in International Relations from
Brussels University. He is fluent in English and French and
has fair knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish. He is married
with three children.

End text of C.V.
RICCIARDONE

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