Noeleen Heyzer

“The Secretary General’s emphasis on preventive diplomacy through strengthening mediation is both urgent and timely. Our inability to respond adequately to complex and protracted conflicts around the world has led to the largest number of displaced people since World War II. The international community has to find better ways to leverage effective diplomatic networks, work together to prevent wars, and build fairer and more cohesive societies. I am honoured to be part of the Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation, which I am confident can play a meaningful role at international, regional and local levels to identify early actions, prevent atrocities, forge political solutions, broker and preserve peace, heal divides and contribute to more inclusive and sustainable development.”


Ms. Heyzer is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore (2013-present ) as well as Distinguished Fellow at the Singapore Management University and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore (2016-present). She served, from 2007-2014, as Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and, from 1994-2007, as Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). During this twenty year period she transformed UNIFEM from a small body to a leading entity in women’s empowerment and gender equality and strengthened the capacity of ESCAP to support the countries of the region. From 2013-2015, Ms. Heyzer was the then Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste to support peacebuilding and sustainable development.


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