For the first time since its formation in 2010, the United Nation's Women (UN-Women) Executive Board will have its first female Arab president, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh. 

Nusseibeh, who is the UAE's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, will now be acting on the behalf of the Asia-Pacific Group at the UN during her tenure, having taken the reins of the board from Tunisia's Mohamad Khaled Khiari. 

Formally known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN-Women seeks to promote gender equality and eliminate discrimination against women and girls around the world. 

Nusseibeh has announced that 2017 will be a crucial year for the UN-Women's executive board, which will implement a new strategic plan for 2018-2021.

Who is Lana Nusseibeh?

Lana Nusseibeh
Source: Twitter

Currently one of only two female representatives of Arab countries at the UN, Nusseibeh became the UAE's first female UN delegate in 2013.

In her role as the emirates' permanent representative to the UN in New York, she has been focusing on regional peace, humanitarian assistance, women's empowerment, sustainable development and human rights.

Nusseibeh has previously assumed several positions within the Emirati government. Most notably, she launched the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Policy Planning Department and served as its first director for three years.

She has also served as the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency task force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the director of research and communications for the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs.

Nusseibeh received Bachelors and Masters degrees in History from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, along with a Masters with distinction in Israeli and Jewish Diaspora Studies from the University of London. 

UAE and women's empowerment

As a champion of women's empowerment, the UAE has supported UN-Women since its foundation. The Gulf nation recently launched a UN-Women office in Abu Dhabi to strengthen the entity's presence in the GCC. 

"Gender equality is of paramount importance to the UAE," Nusseibeh said in her acceptance speech, according to UAE's official news agency WAM

"The constitution of the UAE guarantees equal rights for both women and men and underpins the fundamental belief that women and men are equal partners in society."

Nusseibeh commended female political participation in the emirates, where women comprise 17.5 percent of the Federal National Council and 28 percent of the Cabinet. 

Additionally, she noted that the speaker of UAE Federal National Council, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, was the first woman to lead a national assembly in the Arab world.