Press Releases

    Biographical Note

    27 May 2002

    Secretary-General Appoints Nafis Sadik of Pakistan As His Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia

    NEW YORK, 24 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General announced today that he is giving Nafis Sadik, his Special Adviser, additional responsibilities as Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia. Since her separation from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as Executive Director in December 2000, Dr. Sadik has continued her association with the United Nations and remains active in the population and development field.

    As Special Envoy, Dr. Sadik will be responsible for promoting the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS throughout Asia - a historic document adopted at the General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS in July 2001. She will meet with high-level government officials, as requested by the Secretary-General or the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Executive Director, to promote key issues and advocate for an expanded, multisectoral response to HIV/AIDS in Asia. She will also encourage celebrities and other influential persons to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the region. In carrying out her new functions, Dr. Sadik will work closely with UNAIDS.

    On her appointment in 1987 as Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Sadik became the first woman to head one of the United Nations major voluntary-funded programmes. In June 1990, the Secretary-General appointed Dr. Sadik Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994. Dr. Sadik joined the UNFPA in October 1971 and became Chief of the Programme Division in 1973. From 1977 until 1987, she was Assistant Executive Director.

    Before joining the United Nations, Dr. Sadik was Director-General of the Pakistan Central Family Planning Council, the Government agency charged with carrying out the national family planning programme. She had joined the Council in 1966, as Director of Planning and Training. She was appointed Deputy Director-General in 1968 and Director-General in 1970. Prior to that, in 1964, Dr. Sadik was appointed head of the Health Section of the Government's Planning Commission. From 1954 to 1963, Dr. Sadik served as civilian medical officer in various Pakistani armed forces hospitals.

    A national of Pakistan, Dr. Sadik was born in Jaunpur, India. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi. Dr. Sadik is the recipient of several honorary degrees. Among these are honorary doctorates from the following universities: Brown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Wilfred Laurier, the Philippines, Tulane, Nihon and the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. Dr. Sadik has written numerous articles for leading publications in the family planning, health, gender, population and development fields, and edited several books.

    Dr. Sadik is married with five children.

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