In Conversation with Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar


Rescheduling – This ISEAS Myanmar Studies Programme’s webinar on 10 February with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Dr Noeleen Heyzer has been postponed due to unexpected scheduling developments.  We apologise for any inconvenience. We are working with the Special Envoy’s office for a rescheduled date in the first quarter of 2022, and will announce a new webinar date as soon as possible.

About the Webinar

On 25 October 2021, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Under-Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar. UN Special Envoy Heyzer assumed her duties on 13 December 2021. Within the first month, she has actively engaged in extensive consultations with all stakeholders and her public statements have highlighted her commitment to help facilitate a Myanmar-led process reflective of the will and needs of the people, through a coordinated international strategy grounded on regional unity. USG Heyzer has a difficult but important task ahead as she helps build trust among stakeholders to enable an environment for an inclusive dialogue towards finding a peaceful political solution. USG Heyzer is also working closely with the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar to ensure that international and regional responses to the Myanmar crisis are well coordinated in advancing towards a constructive resolution to Myanmar’s current conflict.

USG Heyzer takes on her duties at a critical juncture in Myanmar’s ongoing political crisis since the military coup on 1 February 2021. We are honoured to have USG Heyzer share her thoughts on how she plans to use her wealth of experience with the UN and Myanmar as well as the advisory support she has provided to governments in the Asia-Pacific region on peacebuilding, state-building and sustainable development.

Mr Choi Shing Kwok, Director and CEO of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute will moderate the conversation with USG Heyzer.

About the Speakers

USG Noeleen Heyzer was the first woman to serve as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), between 2007 and 2014, USG Heyzer focused on regional cooperation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity and sustainable development. In the period 2008-2009, she worked closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Government of Myanmar and the United Nations in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Nargis and led a dialogue with Myanmar’s leaders on development and poverty reduction. From 2013 to 2015, USG Heyzer was the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peacebuilding, State-building and sustainable development in that country. As Executive Director of UNIFEM (1994–2007), she played a critical role in the Security Council’s formulation and implementation of the landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. She undertook extensive missions to conflict-affected countries around the world, engaging women and a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, youth and faith-based organizations. She was a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation and the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and was a distinguished fellow of the Singapore Management University and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. USG Heyzer has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from the University of Singapore as well as a doctorate in social sciences from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,

  1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
  2. Click on the unique link in your email.If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Feb 10 2022


10:00 am - 11:15 am