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Thematic review: Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world: Addressing multi-dimensions of poverty and inequalities

The 2030 Agenda recognized that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.” The multi-dimensional nature of poverty requires us to go beyond economic growth to address the root-causes and the factors that perpetuate these conditions; it requires us to end hunger and food/nutrition insecurity; it requires access to basic, quality services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, sustainable energy; it requires a clean environment where everyone can have good health and prosperity; it requires social protection, empowerment, and opportunities for decent work; it requires inclusiveness and special attention to marginalized and vulnerable groups, the furthest behind, and to eliminate the discriminations against them; it requires sensitivity to the widening disparities and inequalities within and among countries and both in urban and rural areas. This session addresses the theme through the lens of its multi-dimensional nature. A panel of experts with diverse backgrounds will facilitate discussions aiming at deepening understanding and appreciation of the various dimensions and their inter-connections, in the process of which practical recommendations will be made. A short Q&A session will follow.

Proposed Guiding Questions

  • How do policymakers design a multi-dimensional approach to address poverty and inequalities? Who are the key stakeholders to engage? What are the necessary institutional changes required?
  • How well are we measuring multi-dimensional poverty and inequalities? What are the criteria for good measurement? What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • What readily available tools would you like to recommend to policymakers to help them better address the multi-dimensions of poverty and inequalities?

Presiding Officer:

  • H.E. Mr. Nabeel Munir, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Vice-President of Economic and Social Council

Moderator:

  • H.E. Mr. Vikas Swarup, High Commissioner of India to Canada, Author of Q&A (adapted to film as Slumdog Millionaire)

Panellists:

  • Prof. Sabina Alkire, Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford
  • Ms. Claudia Vasquez Marazzani, Director of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia
  • Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF

Lead discussants:

  • Dr. Laura Stachel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeCareSolar
  • Dr. Emem Omokaro, Executive Director, Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF); LEADS Scholar, Ageing Studies Development, National Universities Commission; Secretary General, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD)

Interactive discussion

*Additional Background
OPHI's Child Poverty Study
The global MPI
Multi-dimensional Poverty Peer Network

Biographies
Dr. Emem Omokaro
Executive Director, Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF); LEADS Scholar, Ageing Studies Development, National Universities Commission; Secretary General, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD)
Dr. Emem Omokaro

Executive Director, Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF); LEADS Scholar, Ageing Studies Development, National Universities Commission; Secretary General, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD)

Emem Omokaro is the Executive Director of the Dave Omokaro Foundation (DOF). She holds a Ph.D. in Development Sociology from the University of Calabar, Nigeria, with an award winning dissertation that interrogated the quality of care of Nigeria’s older persons.

Emem holds a certificate in Social Gerontology from the International Institute on Ageing (INIA), UN-Malta. She is a policy analyst who has worked extensively in Nigeria to establish strategic participatory platforms and mechanisms that have advanced national action on ageing in the field of policy, education and research. Her pro-active stakeholders’ engagements have built alliances, enhanced multi-sectoral institutional capacity and fuelled momentum in advocacy, legislation and ageing mainstreaming. She served as LEADS Scholar to the National Universities Commission, where she pioneered the study of Gerontology in 11 Nigerian universities. She is member Editorial Board of the INIA Journal of Ageing in Developing Countries, member African Regional Engagement Mechanism Group on Sustainable Development Goals, member Steering Group of Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP), Secretary General, African Society for Ageing Research and Development (ASARD); President, Gerontology Association of Nigeria (GERAN) and Member Board of Trustees, Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN).

Dr. Omokaro is a recipient of many awards and commendations including, Exxon Mobil Award, University of Calabar Foundation Scholarship Award; Louis Edet Prize in Sociology; University of Calabar Alumni Award of Excellence, Nigerian Universities Doctoral Theses Award for best thesis in Social Sciences during 2005. Emem is also a published poet and a recipient of the National Merit Award for arts and culture. She has authored, published and presented scholarly papers on varying aspects of ageing and development in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Laura Stachel
Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeCareSolar
Dr. Laura Stachel

Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeCareSolar

Dr. Laura Stachel, Co-founder and Executive Director of We Care Solar®, is an obstetrician-gynecologist with fourteen years of clinical experience. She holds an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco and an M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health from University of California, Berkeley. She was a staff researcher at the Blum Center for Developing Economies at UC Berkeley until 2015. Her research on maternal mortality in Nigeria in 2008 alerted her to the deleterious effects of energy poverty on maternal health outcomes. Along with Hal Aronson, she co-founded We Care Solar to bring simple solar electric solutions to maternal and child health care in regions without reliable electricity. We Care Solar has equipped more than 2000 health facilities in over 20 countries with the We Care Solar Suitcase®, a compact solar energy system providing essential lighting and power.

Laura is passionate about promoting sustainable energy solutions for women’s health and speaks around the world on this topic. She has been active in the UN Foundation’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and has co-chaired a Practitioners Working Group on Energy and Health. Laura was one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2013. For her work with We Care Solar, Laura received numerous awards, including the 2015 UN DESA “Powering the Future We Want” Award, the 2015 UCSF Alumni Award, the 2014 Katerva Gender Equality Award, the 2012 Clean Energy, Education and Empowerment Award, the 2012 United Nations Association Global Citizens Award, the 2011 Tech Award, the 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service, and the 2010 UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Civic Engagement.

H.E. Mr. Vikas Swarup
High Commissioner of India to Canada, Author of Q&A (adapted to film as Slumdog Millionaire)
H.E. Mr. Vikas Swarup

High Commissioner of India to Canada, Author of Q&A (adapted to film as Slumdog Millionaire)

High Commissioner Swarup arrives in Canada with over thirty years of experience as an Indian diplomat. He served in various capacities in Delhi including as the desk officer for Canada in the early 1990s, the Director of the office of the External Affairs Minister, Director for Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan, and Joint Secretary, United Nations (Political). Abroad, High Commissioner Swarup has served in Indian Missions in Ankara, Washington DC, Addis Ababa, London, Pretoria and as Consul General in Osaka-Kobe. Prior to his appointment as High Commissioner, he served as the Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in which capacity he accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on all their trips abroad.
High Commissioner Swarup is also an award-winning author. He has written three novels including his debut novel Q&A which won eight Oscars including the Best Picture in its cinematic adaptation as Slumdog Millionaire. His books have been translated into more than forty international languages. He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate in Literature and Philosophy by the University of South Africa. His wife Aparna is an artist and photographer. They have two sons.

Mr. Anthony Lake
Executive Director, UNICEF
Mr. Anthony Lake

Executive Director, UNICEF

Mr. Anthony Lake became the sixth Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund on 1 May 2010, bringing to the position more than 45 years of public service.

During his career, Mr. Lake has worked with leaders and policy makers across the world. In 2007-2008, he served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, a role he also performed during the Clinton presidential campaign of 1991-1992. He has managed a full range of foreign policy, national security, humanitarian and development issues at the most senior levels: as National Security Advisor (1993-1997) under President Bill Clinton, and as Director of Policy Planning in President Carter’s administration (1977-1981). He joined the US State Department in 1962 as a Foreign Service Officer.

Upon leaving the government, he served as the United States President’s Special Envoy, first in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and later in Haiti, from 1998 to 2000. His efforts, for which he received the 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Award, contributed to the achievement of the Algiers Agreement that ended the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He also played a leading role in shaping policies that led to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Northern Ireland.

His experience in international development began in the 1970s, as Director of International Voluntary Services, leading the work of this ‘private Peace Corps’. In that same decade, he also served on the boards of Save the Children (1975–1977) and the Overseas Development Council. Over the past 10 years, Anthony Lake has been an International Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (2000-2003) and Chair of the Marshall Legacy Institute, which works in conflict-affected countries to remove landmines and assist survivors, and advance children's rights.

His ties with UNICEF are long-standing, dating back to 1993, when he worked with UNICEF’s third Executive Director, James P. Grant, on the organization’s presentation of its flagship publication, ‘The State of the World’s Children’, at the White House. From 1998 to 2007 he served on the Board of the US Fund for UNICEF, with a term as Chair from 2004 to 2007, after which he was appointed a permanent honorary member.

Immediately prior to his appointment with UNICEF, Anthony Lake served as Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees at Mount Holyoke College and a member of the Advisory Council of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and has served on the Governance Board of the Center for the Study of Democracy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

He obtained a B.A. degree from Harvard in 1961, read international economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and went on to receive his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1974.

A native of New York, Anthony Lake is married and has three children and six grandchildren.

Ms. Claudia Vasquez Marazzani
Director of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia
Ms. Claudia Vasquez Marazzani

Director of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia

Claudia Vasquez Marazzani is the current Director of the Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, she is responsible for leading and coordinating the foreign affairs agenda related to the topics of her charge, and promoting Colombia’s interest at the multilateral level.

Her academic background starts by the Lawyer degree from the Andes University, along with a specialization in Environmental Law from the Externado University; she also has a Master’s degree in Aeronautical and Space Law from the McGill University in Canada.

Before holding her current position, Claudia worked as manager of the international affairs office at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. Her experience in the public sector also entitles working in the National Planning Department, the Presidential Agency for International Cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Her professional career started in the private sector, she worked in the International Affairs Department of Air France and in Corsair.

Prof. Sabina Alkire
Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford
Prof. Sabina Alkire

Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford

Prof. Sabina Alkire directs the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a research centre within the Department of International Development, University of Oxford that launched in 2007.

Sabina works on multidimensional approaches to measuring poverty and well-being drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach. With James Foster (OPHI Research Associate and Professor of Economics at George Washington University) she created a new counting-based method for measuring multidimensional poverty that is satisfies policy-relevant properties. Many governments now have official national Multidimensional Poverty Indices (MPIs) that implement their methodology in their own contexts, and are used for policy design. Since 2010, the UNDP Human Development Reports have included a global MPI that OPHI co-designed. She has published numerous books and academic articles, and serves on commissions of public trust including the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (instigated by President Sarkozy); and the Atkinson Commission on Monitoring Global Poverty (set up by the World Bank) among others. She holds a DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford.

Statements
Statements
Romania
Presentations
Dr. Laura Stachel, Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeCareSolar
Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
Ms. Claudia Vasquez Marazzani, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia
Prof. Sabina Alkire, University of Oxford