25 October 2021

Secretary-General Appoints Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore Special Envoy on Myanmar

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar.

Ms. Heyzer succeeds Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her dedicated service in support of the people of Myanmar.

The first woman to serve as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, between 2007 and 2014, Ms. 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, Ms. 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.

A member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation, she also sits on the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and is a distinguished fellow of the Singapore Management University and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

Ms. 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 supersedes Press Release SG/A/1413 of 10 June 2013.

For information media. Not an official record.