Profiles of Eminent Persons Advisory Group

Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi's career has spanned wide-ranging areas, starting off as an officer of the Bank of Thailand, he became Deputy Finance Minister, Commerce Minister, and twice Deputy Prime Minister. In between he assumed for some years the presidency role of a commercial bank, and chairman of several private corporations including an international insurance company.

His international career is noteworthy for the fact that he is the first representative of the developing countries to be appointed Director General of the World Trade Organisation (2002-2005) and follows that up with two terms as Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2005-2013).

At present he is a board member of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and a founding member of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation.

Vijay Nambiar Mr. Vijay Nambiar was born in 1943 in Pune and educated in Bombay. He had a distinguished career in the Indian Foreign Service, joining in 1967 and serving from 1985 to 2004 as Ambassador in Algeria, Afghanistan, Malaysia, China and Pakistan and as PR at the UN. Since 2006, he served in the United Nations first as Special Adviser to UNSG Kofi Annan and then as Chef-de-Cabinet to SG Ban Ki-moon and later as his Special Adviser on Myanmar. He returned to India in 2017 and is now settled in New Delhi.

Mr. Nambiar was born in Poona, India, in August 1943. He holds a post-graduate degree in political science from Bombay University and was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal of the University in 1965.

He is married and has two daughters.

Roza Otunbayeva

Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, born August 23, 1950 is a Kyrgyz diplomat and politician who served as the President of Kyrgyzstan from 7 April 2010 until 1 December 2011.

Roza Otunbayeva served as the Former President of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Soviet Kyrgyzstan before being invited to Moscow as Chairwoman of the Soviet National Commission of UNESCO and as member of the Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. She has served as the Vice-President of the Executive Board of UNESCO (1989 – 1991).

After 1991, Ms. Otunbayeva returned to newly-independent Kyrgyzstan to become Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was the first Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United States and Canada, and later as the first Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In the period from 2002-2004, Ms. Otunbayeva served as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for the UN peacekeeping mission in Georgia. In July 1999, she returned to Kyrgyzstan to take a leading role in the country’s democratic movement. In 2007, she was elected to the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic with the Social Democratic Party (SDPK) and led the opposition faction in April 2010.

As a result of the April revolution in 2010, Ms. Otunbayeva went on to head government during its transition from authoritarian regime to parliamentary democracy. In June 2010, she was elected President of the Kyrgyz Republic and served in that post until successfully facilitating the first peaceful transfer of state power in Central Asia in December 2011.

She is currently the head of the “Roza Otunbayeva Initiative” International Public Foundation, which she established after she left the Office of President of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Foundation key themes focus on empowering marginal groups in Kyrgyzstan. More specifically, the foundations thematic work focuses on promoting state policy through the development of education, science, art and culture supporting women and youth to improve their health and quality of life, and creating multi-cultural platforms to sustain development. In the field of early childhood education, her Foundation is implementing a project for “Promoting State Policy on Preschool Education” with the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Finance, State Agency for Local Government and Ethnic Relations, to reform education policy. The “Caravan of Knowledge” Cycle is another project jointly implemented with UNICEF to develop training methodology and provide advisory services to develop the education system for children.

Ms. Otunbayeva is well-traveled - the most recent visit was to Malaysia on the 19th of November 2018 to meet with Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahatir Mohammed – and is very popular in Kyrgyzstan for supporting women’s rights, supporting their place in the economy and natural sciences (STEM), and willingness to put others before herself. In 2011 she was listed as one of the 150 Most Influential Women in the World for her support of peace and the new democratic constitution of Kyrgyzstan in 2006.

She is a Honorary Professor in several universities, including Shanghai and Kyrgyz National Universities, and is a member of the UN High Level Advisory Board on Mediation, and international organizations like IOM, UNESCO, and the UN University of Peace. In 2019 Ms. Otunbayeva became a member of Eminent Persons Advisory Group for Repositioning of UNESCAP.

Noeleen Heyzer Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, a social scientist, is currently a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation.

She was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. She was also the United Nations Secretary General ’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development in fragile states.

As the first Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women from outside the United States, she was widely recognized for her leadership in the formulation and implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

She holds a BA Upper Hons and a MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University, and has received numerous international awards for leadership.

Oh Joon Mr. Oh Joon, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations and Seventy-first President of ECOSOC

Mr. Oh is a professor of United Nations studies at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and a former Ambassador of the Republic of Korea. He was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York from 2013 to 2016. During this time, he served as the 71st President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as President of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2015 and 2016. He was also Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Singapore from 2010-13 and Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Seoul from 2008-10.

His other international activities include those as a member of the High-Level Panel on the Future of Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2016-17; a member of the Korea Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from 2010-13; the Chair of the United Nations Disarmament Commission (UNDC) in 2006; and the Chair of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) from 2004-05.

The ROK Government awarded him an Order of Service Merit twice, in 1996 and 2006. In 2014, he received the Youngsan Diplomat Award for his work on North Korean human rights issues. Rehabilitation International awarded him the Global Presidential Award in 2016 in acknowledgment for his achievements as President of CRPD. He published his first book in Korean “For Mica, Who Contemplates Life” in 2015.

He received a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University (1991-92).

Andie Fong Toy

Ms Andie Fong Toy was previously the Deputy Secretary General (Economic Governance and Security) for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, a position she held from May 2011 – May 2017. 

Ms Fong Toy’s extensive experience includes regional economic governance, trade, private sector, security, political governance, human rights and good governance; research on Pacific legal issues; election observation missions; and working in a civil society organisation in New Zealand. 

Ms Fong Toy has also conducted consultancy work on enhancing Pacific leadership with a focus on Pacific youth and women, and labour mobility. She is currently employed as a Labour Mobility Adviser.

Anis Chowdhury

Mr. Anis Chowdhury holds concurrent Adjunct Professorial position at the Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales (Australia). He is a native Bangladeshi and naturalised Australian. Mr. Chowdhury retired from the United Nations Secretariat in January 2016 after completing an eight-year career which began and ended in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) in New York.

In between he was at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok as Director of Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division (2012-2014) and Director of Statistics Division (2015).

Prior to joining the UN, Anis was Professor of Economics at the University of Western Sydney (2001-2008). He also taught at the National University of Singapore (1983-1987), University of New England, Australia (1987-1992)) and University of Manitoba, Canada (1978-1983). He was a founding managing editor (1995-2008) of the Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy (Taylor & Francis), where he remains on its editorial board as a co-editor. He is also on the editorial board of the Economic and Labour Relations Review (Sage).

He was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore in 2001 and served on the editorial board of the ASEAN Economic Bulletin. He also had visiting positions at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in 2000, and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 1995.

He has PhD and MA from the University of Manitoba (Canada, 1983; 1980) and honours and master’s degrees from Jahangirnagar University (Bangladesh, 1976; 1978). He has consulted UNDP, ILO, FAO, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Islamic Development Bank. He was one of the lead authors of Indonesia National Human Development Report 2001 which was awarded UNDP’s Best Analytical Report Globally and of Indonesia National Human Development Report 2004 which also received acclamations.