Highest Mongolian national honour for ESCAP chief

President of Mongolia confers “Order of the Polar Star” on Dr. Noeleen Heyzer

The President of Mongolia H.E. Mr. Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj has awarded Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, the “Order of the Polar Star”, one of the highest national awards of Mongolia.

The award was conferred on 12 April in Ulaanbaatar in recognition of Dr. Heyzer’s significant contribution to the Mongolia’s development over several decades. In particular, it recognizes her leadership in fostering women’s empowerment and gender equality, developing policies and institutions for democracy, and strengthening the coordinated voice of landlocked developing countries.

The award cites ESCAP’s role under Dr. Heyzer’s leadership, in helping Mongolia overcome the geographical handicap of a landlocked country through promoting regional connectivity and investment in human capital and sustainable development. The order of the “Polar Star” was created in 1936. It is awarded to Mongolians and foreigners for their services to Mongolia.

The year 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Mongolia as a member of the United Nations.

Dr. Heyzer was in the Mongolian capital for the High-Level Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on the implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action and other Development Gaps faced by the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) organized by ESCAP and the Government of Mongolia.

Ministers and senior government officials from Asia-Pacific LLDCs met in Ulaanbaatar from 12 to 14 April to review progress in reducing the geographical isolation of the LLDCs from world markets, in the context of the fast evolving regional and global economic environment.