English | Français | Español |||
United Nations Special Session on Children Go to UNICEF homepageGo to UN homepage
Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas
Photo: Kurdish girl. Iraq, 1997. Copyright Sebastiao Salgado/Amazonas

This page is background information, last updated in May 2002 and still available for reference. For the latest on the Special Session on Children, please go to the Special Session index.

Press Centre | Press kit | Speeches | Accreditation | Contact us

Press Kit

H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo
President of the UN General AssemblyDr. Han Seung-soo, President of the 56th session of the UNGA

Dr. Han Seung-soo is an elected Member of the Republic of Korea's National Assembly. He has served in many areas of public life, including, most recently, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Throughout his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dr. Han played the leading role in furthering his government's policy of peace and reconciliation ("Sunshine Policy") on the Korean Peninsula. Dr. Han also contributed to addressing the challenge of international terrorism in various ways such as participating in the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan held in January 2002.

Dr. Han also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy, the Republic of Korea's chief economic policy making position. In this capacity, he oversaw the negotiations for the accession of the Republic of Korea to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1996.

During his tenure as Chief of Staff to the President, Dr. Han assisted the President in effectively carrying out reform programmes in all areas of national policy. As Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, Dr. Han was heavily involved in the resolution of DPRK nuclear issues, including the so-called nuclear crisis in the spring of 1993.

As Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Han became well known for his skill in resolving bilateral trade disputes. He was instrumental in reshaping Korea's trade policy to place greater emphasis on multilateral and regional cooperation and helped found the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which has evolved into the leading economic cooperation body in the world's most populous region. He also launched the Korea Academy of Industrial Technology (KAITEC) to strengthen the technological base of small and medium-sized business enterprises.

Dr. Han earned a doctorate in economics from the University of York, United Kingdom, and has taught at Seoul National University, the University of York, the University of Cambridge (Emmanuel College), Harvard University, and the University of Tokyo. Read more ...


H.E. Ms. M. Patricia Durrant
Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session on Children

A career diplomat since 1971, Mignonette Patricia Durrant, has served as Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations since 1995; as Jamaica's Representative on the Security Council (2000-2001); and is currently Vice Chair of the Open-Ended Working Group on the Reform of the United Nations Security Council. Ambassador Durrant is also Chair of the Consultative Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). She is a past President of the High-Level Committee on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (1999-2001) and was Vice Chair of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Population and Development (1999).

She served as Minister, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1983 to 1987. From 1987 to 1992, she was Ambassador of Jamaica to the Federal Republic of Germany with concurrent accreditation as Non-resident Ambassador to Israel, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Holy See. Prior to assuming her current post, she served from 1992 to 1995 as Director-General of Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

In 1992, Ambassador Durrant was awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (C.D.) and in 2000 she was awarded the Order of Jamaica (O.J.) for services to Jamaica in the field of international affairs. In 1998 she was honoured by the University of the West Indies as one of its Distinguished Graduates on the occasion of the university's fiftieth anniversary. Ambassador Durrant has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows (WAFUNI).

Ambassador Durrant holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in International Relations from the University of the West Indies as well as a Diploma in Overseas Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Ms. Carol Bellamy
Under Secretary General of the UN, Executive Director of UNICEF

Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund since 1995, Carol Bellamy is a respected voice in the international community.

Now entering her eighth year at the helm of UNICEF, Ms. Bellamy has focused the world's leading children's organization on five major priorities: immunizing every child; getting all girls and boys into school, and getting all schools to offer quality basic education; reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impact on young people; fighting for the protection of children from exploitation; and introducing early childhood programs in every country.

Under Ms. Bellamy's leadership UNICEF has become a champion of global investment in children, arguing that any effort to reduce poverty and build a more secure world must begin by ensuring that all children are given an opportunity to grow in health, peace and dignity. She has challenged leaders from all walks of life to recognize their moral, social, and economic responsibility to invest in children - and will do so again at the UN Special Session on Children taking place in May 2002. Ms. Bellamy has visited more than 100 countries, advocating for children and women with heads of state, corporate leaders, rebel commanders, and many others.

Trained in corporate law and finance, and deeply committed to global peace and development, Ms. Bellamy has brought a compassionate yet pragmatic ethic to improving the lives of children. Her first two years at UNICEF were devoted to streamlining operations, cutting costs, and giving UNICEF's 160 country offices more flexibility to respond to local needs. She also focused UNICEF on helping countries improve their data gathering so that global goals set for children in 1990 could be monitored effectively. The results of that successful effort can be found in UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's 2001 report, "We The Children," perhaps the most comprehensive picture of the global child ever assembled. (Available at www.unicef.org.)


Special Session home

Background information:

Agenda & activities
Preparatory process
Information for NGOs
Child rights in action
How is your country doing?
What you can do
Press centre
Under-18 zone
Contact us

Official coverage
(United Nations)