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As part of the 2017 International Women's Day, a call for nominations was launched in February 2017 to recognize Geneva-based individuals’ commitment and contribution to the advancement and support of gender equality and women's empowerment in the field of environment. An exhibition celebrating their achievements was launched on 8 March 2017, at the International Environment House

Elena Dumitru (B.S. ChE, MPA) is Minister Plenipotentiary with the Permanent Mission of Romania to the UN Office in Geneva and International Organisations in Switzerland. Elena has been tackling environmental challenges for over 25 years. She is a strong advocate for integrating gender dimensions into environmental policy, nurturing and protecting the environment for future generations. She has led teams of Romanian and European Union experts in the endeavours of the international community to attain sustainable economic development. As Deputy Minister of Environment in the Romanian Government, Elena led Romania’s transition to the EU’s environmental standards. Her advocacy for achieving affordable environmental sustainability was translated into waste and chemicals management legislation, which has laid the groundwork for Romania to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Permanent Mission of Romania to the UN Office in Geneva