Mary Banotti

Catarina Furtado

"UNFPA has been carrying out critical work in saving the lives of women and girls.”

Mary Banotti became Dublin's representative to the European Parliament in 1984 and was re-elected in 1989, 1994 and 1999.

Mary Banotti served on parliamentarian committees dealing with social welfare, health and women's issues. She is best known for her work as the Special Mediator for abducted children, an appointment she has received from successive Presidents of the European Parliament. As Special Mediator, Mary has enlarged the role of the European Union in the rights and protection of children within its borders and successfully dealt with 32 cases of child abduction in Europe, the United States and North Africa.

Prior to becoming a MEP, Mary Banotti worked as a nurse in the United States, Canada, England, Italy and Africa. From 1980 to 1984, Mary presented a weekly program on RTE television on social welfare rights and information.

In 1975, Mary Banotti co-founded of the Rutland Centre for alcoholic treatment and served as Chairperson of its Board for 12 years. Mary helped establish ADAPT and Women's Aid and played an important role in their evolution. She has received a number of awards including European of the Year in 1997. The European Environmental Bureau in Brussels named her one of the Top Ten Environmental Legislators in Europe. A Fine Gael presidential candidate in 1997, Mary Banotti also bears the legacy of being the grandniece of Michael Collins.

Articles and Activities

  • March 2002
    United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Visits Afghanistan
    Ms. Banotti has traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran in her capacity as both an MEP and a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador. With each tour, she affirmed to the EU and to the Irish public the need for and value of UNFPA-supported projects caring for the reproductive healthcare needs of victims of war and displacement.

    9-24 January 2000
    At the invitation of the Irish Family Planning Association, Mary Banotti joined a delegation of parliamentarians from Ireland, Sweden, Denmark and Finland to see first hand the work UNFPA and NGOs in Uganda and Zambia.

    11 October 1999
    Mary Banotti, MEP, Appointed UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador for Ireland


Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
Maternal Mortality
Domestic Violence
Male Responsibility


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