Melbourne (Chindwin): United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has announced today the appointment of Noeleen Heyzer of Singapore as his new Special Envoy on Myanmar.
Ms Heyzer will replace the outgoing special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland, who served as the U.N Chief’s special envoy on Myanmar from 26 April 2018 to yesterday.
Ms Heyzer is the first woman who served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific between 2007 and 2014, with a strong focus on regional cooperation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific.
The U.N General-Secretary’s announcement details the experiences of Ms Heyzer on dealing with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Government of Myanmar in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Nargis.
Prior to becoming the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Timor-Leste from 2013 to 2015, Ms Heyzer was Executive Director of UNIFEM (United Development Fund for Women) from 1994 – 2007.
Ms Heyzer grew up in an impoverished household in Singapore, started school late at eigh and had to spend a stint at a girl’s home before her education was disrupted at one point.
From a troubled journey at the beginning, she rose to become one of the high-ranked U.N officials from Singapore.