In Conversation with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer
MYANMAR STUDIES PROGRAMME
About the Seminar
Since assuming her current duties in December 2021, Dr Noeleen Heyzer has engaged stakeholders in Myanmar to understand the challenges and aspirations for a home-grown solution to the country’s crisis and for a just, inclusive and peaceful future. Though the UN General Assembly initially established the Special Envoy’s mandate in 2018 to address the Rohingya crisis, the challenges facing the Myanmar people have now grown in both scope and urgency.
Dr Heyzer is now working to facilitate greater political support, internationally and regionally, to address the multiple needs and vulnerabilities in Myanmar that have worsened since the February 2021 coup.
The Special Envoy’s work supports a Myanmar-led process to build sustainable peace and an inclusive society based on democracy and human rights. Helping to address the root causes of the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya and ethnic minorities and ensuring the safe, dignified, voluntary and sustainable return of displaced people remain at the centre of her mandate, and a priority area for national reconciliation and regional stability. Her recent trips to Myanmar and Bangladesh are part of this work.
Dr Heyzer has advocated for delivering aid through all existing channels and inclusive processes, to support local humanitarian networks and to build community-based resilience, without discrimination or politicisation.
About the Speaker
UN Special Envoy on Myanmar Noeleen Heyzer was the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) from 2007 to 2014, the first woman to hold this position. In 2008-09, she worked with ASEAN, the Government of Myanmar, and the UN on recovery efforts following Cyclone Nargis and led a dialogue with Myanmar’s leaders on development and poverty reduction. She was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste (2013-15) and served on the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation. Dr Heyzer holds BA and MSc degrees from the National University of Singapore and a PhD in social sciences from the University of Cambridge.
This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).
Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS
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If you have questions for the speaker, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speaker during the Q&A session.