speaker image

Rima Khalaf

Former UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UNESCWA

Rima Khalaf-Hunaidi has served in several leadership positions in Jordan and the United Nations, most recently as the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Khalaf resigned from her post in 2017 when she refused to withdraw an ESCWA-commissioned report titled: Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. The report concluded that Israel has established an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole, whether they live in the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, in Israel itself, or in the diaspora. 
Previously, Khalaf served as director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States with the UN Development Program, initiating projects to promote good governance, human rights, and human development in Arab countries. She was the principal architect behind the pioneering Arab Human Development Report series and has received numerous international prizes, including the Prince Claus Award and the King Hussein Leadership Prize. 
Before joining the UN Development Program, Khalaf served in senior government posts in Jordan, including deputy prime minister, minister of industry and trade, and minister of planning. She also served as a Senator in the Upper House of the Jordanian Parliament.