25 February 2014
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

New Permanent Representative of Colombia Presents Credentials


(Based on information provided by the Protocol and Liaison Service)

The new Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, María Emma Mejía Vélez, presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.

Since 2011 until her appointment, Ms. Mejía served as Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), based in Quito, Ecuador.  From 2003 until 2011, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Barefoot Foundation, created by Colombian singer Shakira, and served on its Board of Directors until 2014.

Ms. Mejía was a member of the Government of Colombia’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Affairs since 1999.  Appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1996, she also served as Minister for Education in 1995.  From 1993 to 1995, she was Colombia’s Ambassador to Spain, the first woman ever to hold that position.

Between 1990 and 1993, she was a Presidential Adviser to President César Gaviria.

A journalist and diplomat with broad international experience, Ms. Mejía was educated at the Universidad del Valle and the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana.

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For information media • not an official record