(Based on information provided by the Protocol and Liaison Service)
The new Permanent Representative of Timor-Leste to the United Nations, Maria Helena Lopes de Jesus Pires, presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Pires served as a senior policy coordination adviser to the Minister for Commerce, Industry and the Environment, as well as a senior adviser to the Vice Prime Minister, in charge of managing the State Administration.
She was the Executive Director and founding member of the Centre for Women and Gender between 2013 and 2016, as well as an expert member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women between 2011 and 2014.
From 2008 to 2009, Ms. Pires was a specialist in strengthening civil society at the Justice Facility Programme, where she focused on improving citizens’ access to the justice system. She previously worked as a coordinator of the justice sector segment of the 2008 State of the Nation Report.
As country programme coordinator for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) between 2003 and 2007, Ms. Pires was responsible for re-establishing that agency’s office in Timor-Leste.
As a member of the Constituent Assembly from 2001 to 2002, she helped to draft the Constitution of Timor-Leste and was a member of the nation’s first Parliament.
Ms. Pires holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New England in North South Wales, Australia, and is fluent in English, Portuguese and Tetum.
Born in Dili in 1966, she is married and has a son.