Born in Athens, Greece, Professor Stamatopoulou has devoted 23 years of her UN work to human rights. Most recently, she directed the work program of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)–the highest UN body in this area–as its Chief from its inception in 2003 to 2010. In that capacity and while supporting the UNPFII, she also promoted the integration, at international and national levels, of UN policies on indigenous peoples’ issues in the areas of economic and social development, environment, health, human rights, education and culture. She also supervised the production of the first ever State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples publication of the United Nations (2010).
Prof. Stamatopoulou has received various awards for her work, including The Ingrid Washinawatok El Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh-Flying Eagle Woman Peace, Justice and Sovereignty Award; the award of the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples; the Eleanor Roosevelt Award of the Human Rights Center and of Voices 21; and other awards from grassroots organizations. Among her books are The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 50 Years and Beyond (1998) and Cultural Rights in International Law (2007).
She obtained her Law Degree from the University of Athens Law School and entered the Athens Bar Association. She did her Masters studies in the Administration of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University; and her doctoral studies in Political Science and International Law at the Graduate Institute of Studies, University of Geneva.