First Cypriot woman appointed UN diplomat in Geneva

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Ambassador Olympia Neocleous is the first woman to be appointed Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN in Geneva since the mission office opened in 1970.

The Cyprus Foreign Ministry said Ambassador Neocleous presented her credentials to Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG), Tatiana Valovaya, as Permanent Representative at a special ceremony held in the Palais des Nations.

Welcoming the new Permanent Representative of Cyprus, Valovaya referred to UNOG`s wide range of activities of the UN Office in Geneva and ongoing initiatives, including promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, gender equality, and strengthening the role of women.

Ambassador Neocleous, 45, thanked the Director-General and reaffirmed the full support of the Republic of Cyprus towards UNOG`s initiatives.

She also briefed Valovaya on the latest illegal activities of Turkey concerning the fenced area of ​​Varosha, which constitute a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

Before her appointment to Geneva, Neocleous worked for the Cabinet of Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

She was the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the European Union from 2016 to 2019.

She served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Cyprus in Washington DC from 2010 to 2015 and served in Athens (2003-2007) and Paris (2001-2003).

Neocleous joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1999.

She worked as Head of the EU Policies Department in Nicosia in 2015 and 2016 and was a Seconded National Expert in DG Enlargement in the European Commission from 2008 to 2010.

Neocleous holds a Bachelor of Laws from University College London, a Master of Science in Theory and History of International Relations from the London School of Economics, and is a Barrister at Law of the Inner Temple.

Born in August 1975 in Limassol, she is in a civil union partnership and has two children.