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Mostafa Kamal Tolba

Mostafa Kamal Tolba (Arabic: مصطفى كمال طلبة‎) (born 1922) is an Egyptian scientist who served 17-year tenure as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Born in the town of Zifta (located in Gharbia Governorate), Tolba graduated from Cairo University in 1943, and obtained a PhD from Imperial College London five years later. He established his own school in microbiology at Cairo University's Faculty of Science, and also taught at the University of Baghdad during the 1950s. In addition to his academic career, Tolba worked in the Egyptian civil service.[1] After serving briefly as President of the Egyptian Olympic Committee (1971–1972),[2] Tolba led Egypt's delegation to the landmark 1972 Stockholm Conference, which established the United Nations Environment Programme. Tolba became UNEP's Deputy Executive Director immediately after the conference, and two years later was promoted to Executive Director. During his long tenure (1975–1992), he played a role in the fight against ozone depletion, which culminated with the Vienna Convention (1985) and the Montreal Protocol (1987).[1]


Tolba's publications include more than 95 papers on plant pathology, as well as over 600 statements and articles on the environment.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "2005 Awards Profiles: Mostafa Kamal Tolba (Egypt)". The Vienna Convention Award For Outstanding Contributions to the Protection of the Ozone Layer.  
  2. ^ "Egyptian Olympic Committee Presidents 1910 until now" ( 

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  • Image of Mostafa Kamal Tolba
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Muhammad Abu el-Ezz
President of the Egyptian Olympic Committee
Succeeded by
Abdel Moneim Wahbi Hussein
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Maurice Strong
Executive Director of UNEP
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Dowdeswell

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