Muhammad Shaaban, Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs and Conference Management
On 9 February 2007, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Ambassador Muhammad Shaaban of Egypt as Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly Affairs 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 also provides advice to the Foreign Minister on various issues, including on the restructuring of the Foreign Ministry. He is also the 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.