| Lakshmi Puri|
Lakshmi Puri Wikipedia
Lakshmi Puri (born in 1952, in India) is the Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnerships at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). She was appointed to this position by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on 11 March 2011. Puri is the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. Having joined the leadership team in 2011 at the inception of UN Women, she has contributed strategically and vitally to building this new and dynamic entity. She is directly responsible for the leadership and management of the Bureau for Intergovernmental Support, UN System Coordination, and Strategic Partnerships, and was the Acting Head of UN Women from March to August 2013.
Puri has pursued studies in history, public policy and administration, international relations and law, and economic development. She has a B.A. in First Division from Delhi University and a postgraduate degree from Punjab University, as well as professional diplomas.
Puri has more than 37 years’ experience in economic and development policy-making as well as in political, peace and security, humanitarian and human rights–related diplomacy. More than twenty years of these have been in relation to the United Nations system. She has also promoted the gender equality and women’s empowerment agenda throughout her career. She has considerable experience and professional background in all the thematic and functional areas of UN Women. She has been actively involved in pioneering efforts to analyse and advocate positive linkages between economic development and gender equality. She has worked on ensuring inclusion of a gender perspective in trade investment, migration and labour mobility, financial flows, environment and climate change, energy, agriculture and food security, and access to essential services, among other issues. Puri has contributed to policy-related research in think tanks, academic institutions and in the context of development banks.
During her 28-year distinguished career in the Indian Foreign Service, she held politically sensitive posts, including in relation to the United Nations. She was Under Secretary for Pakistan during a crucial period of Indo-Pakistan relations in 1978–1981. Her human rights, political advocacy and media-related work in Sri Lanka in the lead-up to and after the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Agreement of 1987 were a professional high watermark, and her involvement in the deployment of the largest Indian contingent in the United Nations International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia as Ambassador of India to Hungary and accredited to Bosnia and Herzegovina enabled her to contribute to international and UN peacemaking and peacebuilding on the ground. During her diplomatic postings in Geneva, including as Deputy Permanent Representative of India, she developed an expertise in human rights and humanitarian affairs and played an active role in the Commission on Human Rights and its subsidiary bodies.
Puri joined the United Nations as Director of UNCTAD’s largest division and led the work of the organization in making trade work for development in all its dimensions and, in particular, for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. She became Acting Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD (2007 to 2009) and steered two important UNCTAD Conferences: UNCTAD XI in São Paulo and UNCTAD XII in Accra. She was Director of the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in New York from 2009 to 2011 and steered the preparations for the 4th World Conference on LDCs in Istanbul and the adoption of the ambitious Istanbul Program of Action for the LDCs in 2011. She also contributed to the 5-year Review of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action in 2010 and to the Samoa Pathway engendering in 2014.
Puri has multifaceted experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, negotiations of international agreements and public advocacy spanning peace and security, countering violent extremism and terrorism, human rights, key areas of sustainable development including energy, food security and agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene, trade in goods and services, investment and intellectual property rights regimes, migration and refugees, climate change and humanitarian action. She has contributed to publications and think tanks in these areas and to opinion editorials. Throughout her career, she has interacted with global leaders, decision-makers and opinion influencers at the highest levels. She has developed transformative partnerships with governments, civil society, academia, youth, private sector and the media. She has been a dynamic mobilizer of resources for UN Women and the gender equality agenda.