Elisabeth Rehn

UN Under-Secretary-General, SRSG in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-99

UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights 1995-97

Finnish Minister of Defence 1990-95 and Equality Affairs 1991-95

 

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Foreign Minister, Algeria 1991-93
UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General 2004-05

     
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Armen Sarkissian

Prime Minister, Armenia 1996-97

     
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Prime Minister of Australia, 2007-2010 and 2013
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Foreign Minister, Australia 1988-96
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Austria, Federal Chancellor 2000 – 2007
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President, Republic of Botswana 1980-1998

     
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UN Deputy Secretary-General, 1998 – 2006

   
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Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chile, 1999
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Foreign Minister, Côte d'Ivoire 1990-2000
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Mohamed ElBaradei

Director General,  International Atomic Energy Agency 1997-2009
Interim Vice President, Egypt 2013

     
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Elisabeth Rehn

UN Under-Secretary-General, SRSG in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-99
UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights 1995-97
Finnish Minister of Defence 1990-95 and Equality Affairs 1991-95

     
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Vice President, Guatemala, 2004-08
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Attorney General, Indonesia 1999 to 2001

     
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Prime Minister, Jamaica 1992-2006

     
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President of Latvia, 1999 – 2007

     
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Secretary General, Council of the European Union 1999-2009
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President, Sri Lanka 1994-2005

     
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UN Under-Secretary-General 1999-2007

     
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Prime Minister, Sweden 1991-94
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President of the Swiss Confederation 2007 and 2011

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President, Swiss Confederation 1995 & 2002

 
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Prime Minister of Senegal 1983 & 2000-01

     
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President, Republic of South Africa 1989-94

     
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Prime Minister of Tanzania, 1984 – 1985
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President, Timor-Leste 2007-12

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US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs 1981-89

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US Senator 1987-2005
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US Ambassador to the UN 1979-81

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US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs 1997-2000
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Catherine Ashton

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 2009-14
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Minister of Overseas Development, UK 1989-97

   
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Foreign Minister, Uruguay, 1985-1988
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Elisabeth Rehn - Biographical Information
 

UN Under-Secretary-General, SRSG in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998-99
UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights 1995-97
Finnish Minister of Defence 1990-95 and Equality Affairs 1991-95


As a member of the Swedish People's Party, a Swedish-speaking minority and mainly liberal party in Finland, Elisabeth Rehn served as a Member of Parliament in Finland between 1979 and 1995. She was Finland’s and the world's first female Minister of Defence between 1990 and 1995, and during her term a law on voluntary female enlistment was enacted.  Ms. Rehn also served as Minister of Equality Affairs (between 1991 and 1995) and stood as a Presidential candidate in 1994 and 2000.  She was a Member of the European Parliament between 1995 and 1996.

Elisabeth Rehn has also been a Member of UNICEF, Finnish Committee between 1982 and 1995, chairing the Committee between 1988 and 1993.  She has also chaired the WWF in Finland, and has served as vice chair of the Finnish Red Cross.

In 1995 she was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in The Republic of Croatia, FRY, Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYROM, a post she held for three years until 1998, when she was appointed UN Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative of Secretary-General in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Activity after public service

Between 2000 and 2006 Elisabeth Rehn was Chair of WWF, Finland and between 2003 and 2005 served as Vice Chair of the Board of Suomen Unifem ry. 

She was a UNIFEM Independent Expert on the impact of war on women and co-authored the report “Women, War, Peace” with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in 2001-02.   

In 2003 she chaired the Table I working group of the the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and in 2004 was appointed by the UNDP to provide an Independent Expert Review on the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People in the Occupied Territories.  In 2010-11 she was a member of the High Level Panel commissioned by UNHCHR on reparations to victims of sexual violence in DRC.                               

Elisabeth Rehn is elected by the Assembly of States parties to her second term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims,ICC, the Hague.

Elisabeth Rehn is frequently engaged as an independent expert on crisis management, and the role of women in the peace processes, mainly for UN, the Government of Finland and other governments. She has delivered numerous official addresses and published a range of articles, and has received national and international honours and awards.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of the Trust Fund for Victims, International Criminal Court
  • Independent expert for UN and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Peacebuilding and Crisis Management
  • Senior Gender Advisor, West Africa for Crisis Management Initiative
  • Patron of the United World College in Mostar, BH
  • Member of an Expert Panel reporting on Sexual violence committed by armed groups in DRC, UNHCHR
  • Ambassador for Femmes Africa Solidarité
  • Advisory Board of Regional Women's Lobby for Peace, Security and Justice in Southeast Europe
  • Global Leadership Council of WIIS, Women in International Security, CSIS
  • Eminent persons group, East-West Institute
  • European Leadership Network
  •  UNWOMEN 2014 High Level Advisory Group for the Global Study on the 15-years of implementation of SCR 1325