15 April 2003

H.E. Patricia Olamendi, Undersecretary for Global Affairs, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

VIENNA, 15 April (UN Information Service) -- Ms. Patricia Olamendi, Undersecretary for Global Affairs, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Chairperson, forty-sixth session, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, has held a variety of positions in public office. From 2000 to 2001, prior to her current appointment, she was legal advisor for the Citizens' Commission for Studies Against Discrimination, which drafted the Anti-Discrimination bill, recently passed by the lower chamber of Mexico.

She has also worked as Legal Coordinator, Citizens' Commission for Studies against Discrimination. From 1998 to 1999, she was General Coordinator, Programme for Equal Participation of Women, Mexico City Government. From 1995 to 1998, Ms Olamendi served as Deputy District Attorney in charge of attention to crime victims, Mexico City Government.

From 1991 to 1993, Ms. Olamendi was advisor to the Mexican Attorney General where she was in charge of creating the first national drug-control programme and of designing and promoting the reforms of the penal legislation on drugs. From 1988 to 1991, she was a congresswoman in the Mexican Lower Chamber.

In 1999, Ms. Olamendi was awarded the Americas' Female Attorney Award.

Ms. Olamendi has also served as an advisor to the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

She is also active in civil society organizations in Mexico City. She has served as chairperson, Foundation for the Promotion and Defense of the Rule of Law. Ms. Olamendi was Coordinator of the "Grupo Plural pro Victimas" (Group on defense of victims of crime). She was also chairperson, "Voces vitales de la democracia," a group dealing with the promotion of democracy.

Ms. Olamendi has also served on the editorial boards of two Mexican newspapers, "Reforma," and "La Jornada."

She is the author of several publications, among them, "Cuerpo del delito" dealing with the legal rights of women in the justice system, published by the United Nations; "Drug Trafficking and National Security," published in Criminalia, a penal law review; and "Public and Citizens' Security," published by the Ministry of the Interior of Mexico.

Ms. Olamendi is an Attorney at Law from the National University of Mexico (1983). She received a Masters Degree in Law from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City (1994). Ms. Olamendi also attended the National Penal Science Institute of Mexico, where she was awarded a degree on Penal Law and Criminology (1996).

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