Kofi Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations (1997-2006), and was the first Secretary-General to emerge from the ranks of United Nations staff. In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2007, Mr. Annan founded the Kofi Annan Foundation, where he continues to serve as Chairman.
U Win Mra is the Head of the National Human Rights Commission of Myanmar. He was appointed to this position in September 2011 under President Thein Sein. He has had a long career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, which he joined in 1967. He served in various capacities at the embassies in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Paris, and at the Permanent Missions of Myanmar to the UN in New York and Geneva between 1967 and 1992.
In 1993, he was appointed as ambassador to Israel where he served for nine months before being appointed Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the UN in New York, where he served from 1994 to 2001. During this time he also served concurrently as ambassador to Cuba and Mexico. In 2001, he was appointed Director General of the International Organizations and Economic Department. He has also served as an interpreter for nearly every major Myanmar head of state, including former Senior Gen. Than Shwe, the last military ruler before the democratic transition.
Dr. Tha Hla Shwe is the former president of the Myanmar Red Cross Society where he served for 10 years and consulted widely on humanitarian action both locally and internationally.
Previously, he held a long career with the Institute of Medicine 2, Yangon, serving as Rector of the Institute, Deputy Director General of the Health Manpower Department, and Professor & Head of Preventive & Social Medicine. He is also an active member of the Myanmar Medical Association and the Myanmar Academy of Medical Science, and served on both the 2015 Commission for reviewing temporary identity certification in Rakhine and as Chairman of the 2014 Enquiry Commission on the Duchia-Tan Village incident in Maung Daw Township, Rakhine.
Dr. Tha Hla Shwe has an MBBS degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Preventive and Tropical Medicine from Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon, a Diploma in Clinical Medicine of the Tropics from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and, a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Southern California, United States.
Al Haj U Aye Lwin is the chief convener for the Islamic Centre of Myanmar and is a founding member of Religions for Peace, Myanmar. He is also the Treasurer of the Management Committee of the Bahadur Shah Mausoleum, and was the appointed leader of the Myanmar Government sponsored Hajj delegation in 1998.
He has a long-running interest in Sufi traditions and serves as a Kalifa, or spiritual guide, in the Qadariya Aarliya Sufi order. He has authored and translated dozens of books on Islam and comparative religion and presented papers at seminars nationally and internationally. He is deeply involved in peacebuilding and conflict transformation in his native Myanmar. An educator by profession, Al Haj U Aye Lwin teaches physical education and serves on the Board of Management at the Diplomatic School in Yangon.
Dr. Mya Thida is the president of Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of the Myanmar Medical Association (MMA) and has served as a widely respected medical educator, service provider and researcher for maternal and child health in medical universities throughout Myanmar for over 33 years.
Dr. Mya Thida is graduated from University of Medicine 1, Yangon in 1980 and has a Master degree in Obstetrics & Gynecology from University of Medicine 2, Yangon, and Doctorate degree in Obstetric & Gynecology and Diploma in Medical Education from University of Medicine 1, Yangon.
Dr. Mya Thida worked as head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Medicine 1, University of Medicine 2, and University of Medicine Magway. She is a fellow of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) and also a fellow of Family Planning and Sexual Health at RCOG of UK. She is currently an Executive Committee member and Treasurer of Myanmar Medical Association and member of the editorial board of Myanmar Medical Journal of Current Medical Practice. She is also an advisor for the Department of Maternal and Reproductive Health (MRH) of Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS).
U Khin Maung Lay serves as a member of the Human Rights Commission of Myanmar. Prior to joining the Commission he served as Director in the Department of Labour at the Research and Planning Division for the Ministry of Labour. Here he was responsible for all International Labour Affairs. He has had a long career within the Ministry of Labour, serving as Deputy Director, Assistant Director, Senior Training Officer, and Inspector of Factories.
U Khin Maung Lay is an engineer by training and received his BE (Mechanical) from the Yangon Institute of Technology.
Ghassan Salamé is a professor of International Relations at Sciences-Po (Paris) and the founding Dean of its Paris School of International Affairs/PSIA.
From 2000–2003 he was Lebanon’s Minister of Culture, in charge of national heritage and the arts. He was also Chairman of the Committee and Spokesman for the Arab Summit in March 2002 and for the Francophone Summit in October 2002. Salamé was Political Advisor to the UN Mission in Iraq in 2003 and Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General from 2003–2005, and once again in 2012.
He is presently Vice-Chairman of the Board of the International Crisis Group and sits on the board of the Open Society Institute. He was given the Phenix, ADELFI and Al-Idrissi awards, as well as the Medaille of the Academie Francaise in 2003. Salamé was made Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur in 2004 and named ‘The Arab Cultural Personality of the Year’ the same year.
He has a PhD in Literature and a PhD in Politics from Paris I University, as well as a master’s degree in Lebanese and French law.
Ambassador Laetitia van den Assum retired from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016 after a long and distinguished career in international affairs. She joined the Ministry in 1977 and subsequently served as UNICEF Representative in Tanzania from 1988 to 1992. She was then Director of the International Organizations Department at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 1995.
Her first ambassadorial posting was to Thailand. Here, she served from 1995 to 2000 and was also accredited to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Ambassador van den Assum’s next posting was to South Africa, where she served for four years and took a particular interest in HIV/AIDS issues. She was then appointed special Ambassador for global HIV/AIDS issues. She then served as Dutch Ambassador to Kenya from 2006 to 2011, Mexico from 2011 to 2012, and the UK from 2012 to 2015.
Ambassador van den Assum has a law degree from the University of Amsterdam and a Master of Laws (LL.M) from Columbia University School of Law.