Naela Chohan

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Naela Chohan
Naelachohan1982.jpg
Naela Chohan, Pakistan Civil Service, 1982
Pakistan Ambassador to Australia
In office
29 October 2014 – Current
Pakistan Ambassador to Argentina
In office
26 August 2009 – 29 April 2013
Personal details
Born (1958-05-06) 6 May 1958 (age 58)
Rawalpindi, Pakistan Pakistan
Spouse(s) Musa Javed Chohan
Children Usman W. Chohan, Ibrahim A. Chohan
Alma mater Harvard University, Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques, Quaid-e-Azam University, École du Louvre, École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
Occupation Pakistani Ambassador, Women's Rights Advocate and Artist
Religion Islam

Naela Chohan (Urdu: نائلہ چوہان, alternative spelling Naila Chohan) (born 6 May 1958 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan) is a Pakistani diplomat and Women's Rights advocate and artist. As a seasoned and veteran diplomat, Naela Chohan has assumed a leadership position in eight different Pakistani diplomatic missions on five different continents.[1][2] Naela Chohan is the current High Commissioner of Pakistan to Australia, where she has laid emphasis on bolstering bilateral ties, therein prioritizing the enhancement of trade, security, educational and economic relations.[3][4] She has previously served as Pakistan's Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, prior to which she was the Ambassador of Pakistan to Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Ecuador, where she has been a vocal proponent of stronger ties between Pakistan and Latin America.[5][6] She is an alumnus of Quaid-e-Azam University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Along with only a handful of other diplomats, Naela Chohan represents the first and senior-most cohort of women to rise to the highest echelon of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[7] Canada's weekly foreign policy Embassy Magazine in January, 2008 described her by saying that "though slight in stature and soft in speech, Naela Chohan accounts for 50 per cent of the Pakistani foreign service's most potent power couple."[8] She is responsible for having conceived or restored several Pakistani landmarks including the Plaza de Pakistan in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Naela Chohan is a hyperpolyglot with demonstrable fluency in seven languages including Persian, French, and Spanish.[9][10] Naela Chohan was the first female foreign diplomat to serve in Iran following the 1979 Revolution.

Beyond her diplomatic career, Ambassador Naela Chohan is a strong advocate of Women's Rights through the medium of visual arts, and exhibitions of her art have taken place on four continents.[11][12] Her most notable work is Souffrance, which has been kept on permanent display at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris since 2002.[13]

Career[edit]

Ambassador Naela Chohan and Ambassador Musa Javed Chohan of Pakistan, at the Estrugamou Building, Buenos Aires (2012).

Naela Chohan is the current Ambassador of Pakistan to Australia, where she has laid emphasis on bolstering bilateral ties, therein prioritizing the enhancement of trade, business, educational and economic relations.[14][15] She assumed this office on 29 October 2014 at Government House, Canberra. In this capacity, she is also accredited to Pacific nations including Fiji,[16] Papua New Guinea,[17] The Solomon Islands,[18][19] and Vanuatu, among others. Along with only a handful of other diplomats, Naela Chohan represents the first and senior-most cohort of women to rise to the highest echelon of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[20] She has the honour as a woman of being the first female foreign diplomat to be received in Tehran by the Iranian government after the 1979 Revolution.[21] Canada's weekly foreign policy Embassy Magazine in January, 2008 described her by saying that "though slight in stature and soft in speech, Naela Chohan accounts for 50 per cent of the Pakistani foreign service's most potent power couple."[22]

As a seasoned and veteran diplomat of Pakistan, Naela Chohan has completed eight different diplomatic missions on five different continents. Naela Chohan's diplomatic assignments have included Additional Secretary (AS) Middle East and Africa, the High Commission of Pakistan in Ottawa, the Pakistan delegation to United Nations General Assembly 41st (1987) Session and 42nd (1988) Session, and the Embassy of Pakistan in Tehran (1989–1993), and Kuala Lumpur (1997–2001).

Naela Chohan is also committed to the prohibition of global Chemical Weapons, being the first civilian and woman to head the National Authority on the Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical weapons in Pakistan.[23]

In addition to her service as a career diplomat, she has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Overseas Employment Corporation of Pakistan and the Inter State Gas System Limited (Pvt); and a member of the Central Board of Film Censors(CBFC). She was also unanimously elected Chairperson of the Asia Pacific Development Center (APDC), Kuala Lumpur (1998–2000).

Ambassador Chohan has been designated a Profesora Visitante at the School of Oriental Studies (Escuela de los Estudios Orientales) at the Universidad del Salvador.[24]

In April, 2014, Naela Chohan assumed the position of Acting Foreign Secretary (A-FS) at the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thereby becoming the first female Foreign Service Officer to hold this office. She subsequently reassumed this office in July, 2014.

In 2016, Madam Ambassador Chohan was the first Pakistani to set foot on the Solomon Islands, and established formal diplomatic relations between Pakistan and The Solomon Islands.[25][26]

Art and Advocacy for Women's Rights[edit]

Alongside her diplomatic career, Ambassador Naela Chohan is a strong advocate of Women's Rights through the medium of visual arts, and her work Souffrance is on permanent display at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and was inaugurated by Boutros Boutros Ghali on the UN International Women's Day, 2002.[27] The UNESCO Bureau of Strategic Planning Section for Women and Gender Equality described her work as "a reflection on the position of women in society , illiteracy, economic empowerment, women's contribution to society and discrimination they face".[28] Her work Enlightenment (1999) is on permanent display at the Museum of Islamic Heritage, Kuala Lumpur; a piece that was inaugurated by the First Lady Datin Sri Endon Mahmood of Malaysia. Other major displays and exhibitions of her work have taken place in Paris (2002), Buenos Aires (2011), and in Ottawa (2008) where her exposition was inaugurated by First Lady of Canada Mrs. Laureen Harper.[29][30]

Education[edit]

Naela Chohan holds a master's degree in International Relations from Quaid-e-Azam University (1982), and a PhD session certificate in International Relations from Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris (2002). She also received training at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts and the École du Louvre in Paris (2001). Naela Chohan also undertook the Executive Development Program (EDP) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2006).

As a hyperpolyglot, she has demonstrated fluency in English, French, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, Persian (acquired at age 35), and Spanish (acquired at age 51).[31]

Family[edit]

Ambassador Naela Chohan is married to Ambassador (R) Musa Javed Chohan, who has served as Pakistan's Ambassador to France (2001), Permanent Representative to UNESCO (2001), and High Commissioner to Canada (2007) and Malaysia (1997). She has two children, Usman W. Chohan (currently at the World Bank Institute) and Ibrahim A. Chohan (currently at the National Bank of Canada).

Gallery[edit]

Ambassador Naela Chohan of Pakistan Pakistan
Ambassador Naela Chohan is the current High Commissioner of Pakistan to the Commonwealth of Australia Australia, former ambassador of Pakistan to the Republic of Argentina Argentina.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Determinants of Peace in South Asia - Ambassador Naela Chohan
  2. ^ SBS Australia (Urdu Service) Message from Ambassador Chohan to the Pakistani Community in Australia
  3. ^ Naela Chohan calls on the President of Pakistan
  4. ^ A Conversation Between Hemispheres: Gender Equality Post-2015 Development Agenda - Naela Chohan Parliament of Australia - UN SDG Convention (English)
  5. ^ Roundable at the Institute for Regional Studies, Pakistan
  6. ^ Naela Chohan for Enhancing Ties with Latin American Countries
  7. ^ The Nation Daily Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the glass ceiling is gone
  8. ^ Embassy Magazine Canada Jeff Davis, Ottawa Canada. January, 2008.
  9. ^ Determinants of Peace in South Asia - Ambassador Naela Chohan
  10. ^ Visión Siete Interview #1 Naela Chohan Interview (Spanish) Naela Chohan Interview on Vision Siete Argentina (Spanish)
  11. ^ Naela Chohan’s ‘Art from the Heart’ exhibition Launch with Laureen Harper Amna Hakim, Rothwell Gallery, Ottawa
  12. ^ Diplomat displays artwork at east-end gallery Laura Cummings, The Labradorian Newspaper, 2009"
  13. ^ UNESCO Press Release - Bureau of Strategic Planning - Section for Women and Gender Equality (2002)
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ Government of Fiji - Fijian President receives credentials from High Commissioner of Pakistan to Fiji, Madam Naela Chohan
  17. ^ Prime Mister of Paua New Guinea with Ambassador Naela Chohan
  18. ^ Government seals diplomatic relations with Pakistan Solomon Star
  19. ^ Pakistan and Solomon Islands establish relations Ary News
  20. ^ The Secretary or the Boss? Challenges facing Female Diplomats - AIIA Australia
  21. ^ The Nation Daily Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the glass ceiling is gone
  22. ^ Canada's Embassy Magazine Jeff Davis, Ottawa Canada. January, 2008.
  23. ^ MEETING OF THE STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE DEVELOPMENT, PRODUCTION AND STOCKPILING OF BACTERIOLOGICAL (BIOLOGICAL) AND TOXIN WEAPONS AND ON THEIR DESTRUCTION, Page 11 [3]
  24. ^ La Embajadora de Pakistán dio una conferencia en la USAL
  25. ^ Government seals diplomatic relations with Pakistan Solomon Star
  26. ^ Pakistan and Solomon Islands establish relations Ary News
  27. ^ UNESCO Press Release - Bureau of Strategic Planning - Section for Women and Gender Equality (2002)
  28. ^ UNESCO Press Release - Bureau of Strategic Planning - Section for Women and Gender Equality (2002)
  29. ^ Naela Chohan’s ‘Art from the Heart’ exhibition Launch with Laureen Harper Amna Hakim, Rothwell Gallery, Ottawa
  30. ^ Diplomat displays artwork at east-end gallery Laura Cummings, The Labradorian Newspaper, 2009"
  31. ^ Visión Siete Interview #1 Naela Chohan Interview (Spanish) Naela Chohan Interview on Vision Siete Argentina (Spanish)

External links[edit]