Radhika Coomaraswamy profile 800x600 womanleader GWLvoices
Her voice

“Women peacemakers around the world have given an alternative, more inclusive, way to resolve conflict. Surely we have everything to gain by involving them actively in making peace, creating bridges and planning for the material and spiritual reconstruction of war-torn and divided societies.” 

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Ms. Coomaraswamy is a lawyer, diplomat and human rights advocate who served as the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict until 13 July 2012. She was nominated to the Constitutional Council (Sri Lanka) as a civil representative on 10 September 2015. In 2017, after atrocities against the Rohingya people, she was appointed a Member of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar.

She previously worked as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women (1994-2003).

Coomaraswamy was appointed Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in May 2003. She has served as a member of the Global Faculty of the New York University School of Law. She also taught a summer course at New College, Oxford, every year on the International Human Rights of Women from 1996-2006. She has published widely, including two books on constitutional law and numerous articles on ethnic studies and the status of women.

In 2014, Ms Coomaraswamy was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as lead author on a Global Study on the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325.

She is a graduate of the United Nations International School in New York City. She received her B.A. from Yale University, her J.D. from Columbia University, an LLM from Harvard University and honorary PhDs from Amherst College, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Essex and the CUNY School of Law.