Noeleen Heyzer is the first executive director from the South to head the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the leading operational agency within the United Nations to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality. Since joining UNIFEM, Ms. Heyzer has worked on strengthening women’s economic security and rights in the context of feminised poverty and globalisation; promoting women’s leadership in conflict resolution, peace-building and reconstruction; ending violence against women; and combating HIV/AIDS from a gender perspective.
Noeleen Heyzer spearheaded the launch of UNIFEM’s biennial report on Progress of the World’s Women and the United Nations Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women, which UNIFEM administers. She also played a critical role in the Security Council’s adoption, in year 2000, of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and in ensuring that it is implemented in order to make a difference to women’s lives on the ground.
Before joining UNIFEM, Noeleen Heyzer was policy adviser to Asian governments and was instrumental in the formulation of national development policies, strategies and programmes. In 1994-95 she played an important role in the preparatory process for the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, including organising 1000 NGOs in the Asia Pacific region to develop their first ever NGO Action Plan.
Noeleen Heyzer has been a founding member of numerous regional and international women’s networks and has published extensively on gender and development issues, especially economic globalisation, international migration and trafficking, gender and trade, and women, peace and security.
Born in Singapore, she received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Singapore and a doctorate in social sciences from Ca mbridge University in the United Kingdom.
The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture
is given in memory of Dag Hammarskjöld, the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, and in recognition of the values that inspired him as Secretary-General and generally in his life – compassion, humanism and commitment to international solidarity and cooperation.
The invited speaker should be an outstanding international personality who in significant and innovative ways contributes to a more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world through valuable achievements in politics or research.
The Annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture is co-organised by Uppsala University and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. The lecture is free and includes a performance by Allmänna sången. The lecture will be filmed and available here on this webpage.