Upcoming FPDSS lecture: Turkish parliamentarian Safak Pavey

Safak Pavey

The Einaudi Center is excited to host noted Turkish Parliamentarian Safak Pavey as a part of the Foreign Policy Distinguished Speaker Series. On March 14th, 2016 Hon. Ms. Pavey will deliver a lecture titled "Humanitarian Disasters and the Refugee Crisis: Turkey-European Struggles for European Consensus." The lecture will be held at 165 McGraw Hall from 5:00PM - 6:30PM.

About Hon. Safak Pavey: 

Safak Pavey, is known for her international work in the field of human rights, humanitarian aid and peace-building with a background embracing international civil service, activism and journalism.

The train accident she had whilst studying art and film in Zurich left her with one arm and leg, introducing her further to the world of disabled people, reshaping her perspective. Her struggle to continue her life as a young disabled woman before the public brought more visibility to the silent disabled community in her country as well as leading for change of attitude towards disabilities. She chose to continue the struggle she gave for herself for others. Minorities, children, women who have been subject to violence, disabled people, refugees and all others whose rights have been violated became the focal point of her attention. She worked for various NGOs, developing national programs and international advocacy campaigns for human rights issues.

Between 2003 and 2010, Safak worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees both at the HQs and on humanitarian missions in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and Central Europe. Undertaking missions and assignments in countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Hungary, she dealt with different human displacement situations, holding various positions from being a consultant on child
rights, education and gender programs to serving as the regional spokesperson and managing global strategic communications. She has also worked as a peace solutions activist in a number of conflict areas including Afghanistan.

Safak Pavey is a founding member of the UN interagency support group for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN IASG for CRPD). She campaigned across the UN and civil society platforms to promote the Convention’s core principle of ‘accessibility’, leading various ‘inclusive / universal design’ projects in partnership with expert institutions.

In 2010, she was appointed as the Secretary to the CRPD Secretariat at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She left her position at the United Nations and was elected as Deputy of Istanbul at the 2011 elections in Turkey. Hence, she has become the first disabled female member of the Turkish Parliament. As part of her parliamentary work, she is a member of the Turkey-EU-Accession Committee, EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean Union, Euro-Med Sub-Committee on Energy, Water and Environment, Vice-Chair and Member of Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Groups with South Korea and Norway.

About the Foreign Policy Distinguished Speaker Series (FPDSS): 

The Foreign Policy Distinguished Speaker Series welcomes several speakers a year who have a position of prominence in international affairs and can address topical issues from a variety of perspectives. The series was launched in Spring 2006 with a talk by Larry Diamond, Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Since then, the series has welcomed several other prominent speakers such as H.E Ólafur Grímsson, President of Iceland, Sang-Hyun Song, Former President of the International Criminal Court, Sarah Mendelson U.S. Ambassador to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and numerous other prominent dignitaries. To learn more about past speakers please visit the FPDSS page.