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Thematic review: Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world – how it affects countries in special situations: LDCs and LLDC. It will also discuss special challenges of MICs

The 2030 Agenda calls for leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first. Its success will therefore ultimately be measured against the progress made by those who are currently the most disadvantaged, a disproportionately large number of whom live in countries in special situations, or in pockets of deprivation in middle income countries, making the efforts being made to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations within these countries of vital importance to all. Through a moderated panel discussion and interaction from the floor, this session will address the challenges and opportunities faced by least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), middle-income countries (MICs), and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations in aligning their existing national priorities and plans to the SDGs, and in achieving progress toward the goals under review.

Proposed Guiding Questions

  • What actions and policies have proven successful in increasing resilience and addressing the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, conflict, and displacement on countries in special situations?
  • How are governments working to address the underlying social and economic root causes of distress migration that potentially lead to conflict?
  • What technologies, innovations, and data collection tools have been effective so far for countries in special situations in monitoring and follow-up of the SDGs?

Presiding Officer:

  • H.E. Mr. Cristián Barros Melet, Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, Vice-president of Economic and Social Council

Moderator:

  • Dr. Swarnim Wagle, National Planning Commission, Nepal

Panellist:

  • H.E. Ms. Amira Gornass, Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security
  • Ms. Farah Kabir, Country Director Action Aid, Bangladesh
  • Mr. Nikhil Seth, Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Lead discussant:

  • H.E. Mr. Masu Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations
  • Ms. Larysa Belskaya, Head of Directorate General for Multilateral Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Belarus
  • H.E. Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations

Interactive discussion

Biographies
Dr. Swarnim Waglé
National Planning Commission, Nepal
Dr. Swarnim Waglé

National Planning Commission, Nepal

Swarnim Waglé is a Member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) in the Government of Nepal, ranked at par with an assistant minister. He served earlier in the same position between May 2014 and November 2015. In his portfolio covering macroeconomics and trade, he advises on the formulation of national strategies, coordinates policy across the public sector, and monitors major projects. In the aftermath of the Great Nepal Earthquake 2015, Waglé co-led the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and helped garner billions (US$) in pledges. He also led Nepal’s ministerial delegation to the landmark Third UN Conference on Financing for Development.

Waglé has worked as an international development professional for more than 15 years on policy assignments in over 20 countries, most recently as Senior Economist at The World Bank in Washington, D.C. Waglé has published several flagship reports and academic papers in areas spanning public finance, trade, investment, and the impact of macro-economic and social policies.

At the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), he co-authored the 2013 Human Development Report titled “The Rise of the South,” and co-led from 2002 to 2007 the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative, a research and policy advisory program on WTO negotiations. He has also undertaken short-term assignments at the Asian Development Bank (Manila) and the International Trade Center (Geneva). Having been the South Asia editor of Harvard Asia Quarterly (1999-2000) and a regular broadcaster on BBC Nepali Service, he maintains an interest in current affairs.

Waglé holds a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from Harvard University, and a BSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics. He was born in Bungkot, Gorkha.

H.E. Mr. Masu Bin Momen
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Masu Bin Momen

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations

Ambassador Bin Momen is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, New York. He is the Chair of the Global Coordination Bureau of the Least Developed Countries. He previously served as Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan and Italy. He also served in Bangladesh Missions in New York, New Delhi and Islamabad in different capacities. Ambassador Momen also worked in the SAARC Secretariat as a Director. Previously, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director General. He holds a MSS in Economics from the University of Dhaka and an MA in International Relations from the Tufts University, USA.

H.E. Ms. Amira Gornass
Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security
H.E. Ms. Amira Gornass

Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security

Amira Gornass has been the Republic of the Sudan’s Ambassador to Italy and the Permanent Representative to the Rome Based Agencies, since 2012. In October 2015 she was elected Chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) for a two year term. Ambassador Gornass was the Deputy Head of Delegation of Sudan that led the G77 & China negotiations on Climate Change and was Chair of the Group in 2009 in Bonn, Barcelona, Bangkok, Tianjin and Copenhagen. Ambassador Gornass has worked for the promotion of the role of women in the Peace Process in Sudan and she was the initiator of the participation of women in the “Netherland initiative for the participation of women in the peace process in Sudan”. She has participated in Conferences all over the world. She is involved with civil society associations especially in the fields of environment, women’s empowerment and humanitarian assistance, giving special attention to small agricultural schemes for food security. She was the Chair of the Behaviour Enhancement Committee in Khartoum State and was the initiator and editor of the “Green Bulletin”, a publication that increased awareness and understanding of environmental issues and their impact on agriculture, food security, health, etc. at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Nikhil Seth
Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Mr. Nikhil Seth

Executive Director, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

On 8 June 2015, Mr. Nikhil Seth was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as UN Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Before assuming the post of the UNITAR Executive Director, Nikhil Seth was the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Secretariat in New York. In this role he served as head of the Rio+20 secretariat and of the secretariat for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, spearheading the preparations for these conferences in Rio, Brazil, and Apia, Samoa. He was also closely engaged in coordinating and advancing their follow-up.

Mr. Seth’s Division was also responsible for supporting the intergovernmental negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda, which was adopted at the United Naitons Sustainable Development Summit 2015 in September 2015.

During his career with the United Nations since 1993, Mr. Seth has served as Special Assistant and Chief of Office to the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (Sept 1993 – Jun 2001), Chief of the Policy Coordination Branch in the Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (Jun 2001 – Jan 2003), as Secretary of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Second Committee of the General Assembly (Feb 2003 – Aug 2006), and as Director of the DESA Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (Aug 2006 – Aug 2011), where he guided the ECOSOC's work in implementing several new key mandates, including its Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum.

Before joining the UN Secretariat, he was a delegate to the UN in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (Sep 1990 – Sep 1993) and involved with various UN conferences and summits including the Rio Summit on Environment and Development and the climate change related process. After joining the UN, he has been involved in the organization of the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development, the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development, the Mauritius Conference on Small Island Developing States, the Millennium Summit, World Summit on Sustainable Development and the UN World Summit, beside the Rio+20 Conference.

He joined the Indian diplomatic service in 1980 and his diplomatic assignments included Geneva, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Before joining the Indian diplomatic service, he worked as a Lecturer in Economics in St. Stephen College, Delhi University for 2 years (Aug 1977 – Sep 1979).

Mr. Nikhil Seth holds a Masters degree in Economics from Delhi University.

Ms. Farah Kabir
Country Director Action Aid, Bangladesh
Ms. Farah Kabir

Country Director Action Aid, Bangladesh

Farah Kabir has been working with ActionAid Bangladesh as the Country Director since June 2007. Over 20 years of vast experience in the field of development and research has made Farah Kabir a renowned human rights figure at home and abroad with an uncompromising voice against human-rights violation.

As the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh, Farah Kabir has been engaged in persistent advocacy with many organizations and institutions regarding support and commitment to the marginalized and disadvantaged population. She has taken up new initiatives for communities, and women leadership through ActionAid. She has worked with 150 girls for 9 years by building Happy Home, a safe home for these girls. Post Rana Plaza disaster, Farah Kabir was one of the few rights activists who took up a position for the affected workers and strongly advocated for corporate company’s accountability towards the affected garment workers.

Farah Kabir, a student of public administration and policy, commenced her career with the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS); she has research experience with a host of publications especially on Women in Politics to her credit. For her significant contribution in women’s rights movement of Bangladesh, Farah Kabir won the prestigious "Nawab Ali Chowdhury National Award 2012". She also led ActionAid to win the UN Sasakawa Award for disaster risk reduction and the Momentum for Change 2013 Lighthouse Activity on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Resilience in Bangladesh. She is the co-editor of two recent publications namely ‘Discourse Analysis as a Tool for Understanding Gender Identity, Representation and Equality’ and ‘Revealing Gender Inequalities and Perceptions in South Asian Countries through Discourse Analysis’.

Ms Kabir worked with British Council for nearly ten years both in Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. She was the Consultant of Participative Democracy of British Council Governance Team in the UK with responsibility to develop Governance programmed in Scotland. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director, Governance of British Council Bangladesh. She is a fellow of the Advocacy Institute, Washington D.C, USA. Presently she is a member of the CSEF Funding Committee of the Board. She is a board member of UCEP.

Farah is engaged in climate change, women rights and governance issues; she has spoken on various occasions, such as climate change adaptation in the UN and the CSO dialogue in the UN, South Asian Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Climate Change by Climate Action Network South Asia in February 2013. She also spoke on Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) integration at the UNISDR in Geneva in May 2013.

She is an active member of many professional societies. To name a few, Ms Kabir was a member of the Governance Board of Napier University, Edinburgh Scotland, a member of Board of Trustees for Zero Tolerance, Scotland, a board member of Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), advisory panel member of LDC Independent Expert Group on Post 2015 supported by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). She is also working as a Chair of the Global Board of GNDR. She is presently a Board member of Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), Member of Education Watch and Member of the Funding Committee of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).

Farah Kabir has been associated with the media since University life as a newscaster on both National Television and Radio.

Ms. Larysa Belskaya
Head of Directorate General for Multilateral Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Belarus
Ms. Larysa Belskaya

Head of Directorate General for Multilateral Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Belarus

Ms Larysa Belskaya currently serves as the Head of the General Department for Multilateral Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus.

Ms Belskaya received a M.Sc. degree in history and socio-political science in Belarusian State University in 1987. After a few years of teaching and research experience she has joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus in 1994.

Her diplomatic career included holding several management positions: Head of the Secretariat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senior Advisor on humanitarian cooperation and human rights issues, Deputy Head of the Department of Economic Cooperation and Sustainable Development.

She also served in various capacities in the diplomatic missions abroad including as First Secretary in the Embassy of Belarus to the United States (2004-2008) and Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN (2012-2016). In this role she focused on different aspects of international politics in socio-economic development, gender equality and family policies, human rights and human trafficking. Ms Belskaya was elected to the post of Vice-Chair of the UN Commission for Social Development at the 51st and 52nd Sessions of the CSocD.

Statements
Statements
Guatemala
H.E. Ms. Amira Gornass, Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security
Ms. Farah Kabir, Country Director Action Aid, Bangladesh
OHRLLS
Sri Lanka