UAE envoy who fought for Gaza at UN to end term after 11 years

Top diplomats from Eqypt and Qatar recently held separate farewell dinners in her honour


Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi


Laraib Anwer

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Lana Zaki Nusseibeh
Lana Zaki Nusseibeh

Published: Fri 5 Apr 2024, 12:04 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 Apr 2024, 12:54 AM

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, the UAE's longest-serving Permanent Representative (PR) to the UN, has always made her seat at the table count — especially when Gaza came under relentless attack. Identified by her impassioned speeches and fiery valour, she has lent her voice to the voiceless on behalf of the Emirates. Now, after serving 11 years in the UN, Nusseibeh is set to end her term.

After being appointed as the UAE’s first female PR to the UN, Nusseibeh was eventually named Assistant Minister in 2021 under a decree issued by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

A voice that rang out in a room filled with the world’s movers and shakers, Nusseibeh fought for a ceasefire in Gaza as she called attention to the harrowing plight of women and children in the war zone.

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In one of the sessions, she helped highlight the heartbreaking term 'Wounded Child No Surviving Family’, which is being used to identify many injured kids. On other occasions, she stressed on the equal importance of Palestinian lives and how there is 'no hierarchy' when it comes to civilian lives.

This, however, is not the first time Nusseibeh has been at the forefront of groundbreaking initiatives. Back in 2023, she announced the UAE’s launch of a digital response platform to support countries struck by disasters.

Honouring her service

Top diplomats from Eqypt and Qatar recently held separate farewell dinners in her honour.

Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN, recalled working closely with Ambassador Nusseibeh – whom he called as “the talented PR of the UAE mission to the UN in New York” – over a lot of issues of mutual interest.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

“The longstanding fraternal relations between Egypt and the UAE have been a cornerstone in the close coordination between our two missions over the past years, particularly in the wake of the aggression on Gaza,” he tweeted, adding: “I wish Ambassador Nusseibeh all the best in her future endeavours.”

The UAE Mission to the UN thanked the Egyptian diplomat and noted: “Egypt and the UAE have been crucial partners across the UN system, particularly in efforts to alleviate the devastating humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip through the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2720.”

Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to UN, also hosted a farewell dinner for Nusseibeh.

Al Thani said: “Such a delight to host a farewell dinner in honour of my dear sister Amb. Lana Nusseibeh, who is concluding her tour of duty as PR of the UAE to the UN in New York. It's been a great pleasure to work together on advancing the priorities of our countries on many fronts. I wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

The farewell dinners were attended by high-level officials, including the UN secretary-general António Guterres, and the PRs to UN from the US, UK, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia.

Distinguished service

Prior to her role as PR to the UN, Nusseibeh held various posts at International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs.

She established the Ministry’s Policy Planning Department in 2009 and served as its first director for three years. During this time, she was also the UAE Deputy Sherpa to the G20 under France’s presidency in 2011. From 2010-2011, she served as the UAE Co-Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

She started her PR post in 2013. In 2017, she was appointed as a non-resident Ambassador to Grenada. In February 2021, she became the Assistant Minister for Political Affairs, and in December of that same year, the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a federal decree granting her the rank of minister.


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