The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has appointed Ms. Bineta Diop as Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security. Dr. Dlamini Zuma announced the appointment on 30th January during her opening address to the 22nd Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30-31 January 2014.
Ms. Diop has over 35 years of experience working in human rights, peace building and development issues in Africa and internationally. She founded the Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), a leading global organization with an objective to strengthen women’s leadership and engender peace processes in Africa.
She has also served in numerous other positions amongst which are: Secretary-General of the African Women’s Committee on Peace and Development (AWCPD), President of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) Gender Cluster (2009-2011); member of the Global Agenda Council on Conflict Prevention of the World Economic Forum (2010-2011), an advisor in the 6th Advisory Group of the International Committee of the Red Cross (2004-2007), and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (2008-2011).
Her work contributed to increased and more effective participation of women in peace and development processes on the continent, notably mainstreaming a gender perspective in the transformation process of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). She championed the achievement of gender parity within the African Union Commission in 2003, with the election of five women out of the 10 AU Commissioners. Her work also contributed to the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol, 2003) and the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (2004).
Ms Diop’s commitment and dedication to the cause of women have earned her continental and global recognition as a champion of women’s rights and gender issues, with numerous honors and awards. TIME Magazine 2011, listed her amongst the 100 Most Influential People in the World; the University for Peace, in 2012, awarded her a “Doctor Honoris Causa in International Peace Studies” and she was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government in recognition of her work on women, peace and security.