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Ensuring that No One is Left Behind: Challenges of countries in special situations
Monday, 18 July 2016
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Trusteeship Chamber

Official meeting

Biographies (A-Z)
In 2011, Member States adopted the Istanbul Program of Action on Least Developed Countries (LDCs). 2014 saw the adoption of the SAMOA Pathway for the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Vienna Program of Action for Landlocked Developing States (LLDCs). In many ways these three outcome documents anticipated the vision and priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both in terms of the policy areas addressed and the underlying principle of the 2030 Agenda: leave no one behind.

Building on the two expert level sessions from week one, this Ministerial level session will offer perspectives on the challenges facing countries in special situations and will focus on concrete solutions and the means of implementing them.

This session will explore the synergies among these outcome documents and the 2030 Agenda, and will focus on the means of implementation. It will shine a spotlight on the concerns and challenges of these three categories of countries in special situations, as well as those middle income countries (MICs) and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations. Climate change, debt sustainability, economic growth and sustainable livelihoods, access to markets, and sustainable transport—these issues and others are all challenges for the world at large, but LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS, MICs, and conflict and post-conflict countries, with their structural vulnerabilities, feel these challenges especially acutely.

The progress of all these countries is crucial in its own right and also because it can serve as a bellwether for the overall success of the SDGs Because of this, though, they can also be drivers and incubators for innovative solutions to development problems, and they have much to teach the rest of the world.

Possible questions for discussion:
  1. What actions are countries in special situations taking to address their vulnerabilities and advance implementation of the 2030 Agenda in concert with the programs of action specific to their country groups?
  2. How can the international community complement these actions with meaningful support and partnership? What are the gaps and challenges in this regard? Are there any new entry points for partnership and support created in the 2030 Agenda?
  3. What are some “quick win” or “early harvest” areas for countries in special situations, areas where these countries themselves and their development partners can focus attention and resources in the next three to five years?

Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC

Keynote speaker:
  • Ms. Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman, Journalist, politician, and human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2011

Moderator:
  • Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS

Speakers:
  • H.E. Mr. Alvaro Garcia, Member of the Presidential cabinet and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget of the Presidency, Uruguay
  • Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG)
  • Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Lead discussants:
  • H.E. Mr. Ricardo Cardona, Minister of Social Development of Honduras
  • H.E. Ms. Karina Gould, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development of Canada
  • Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
Biographies (alphabetical order)
Dame Meg Taylor
Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Dame Meg Taylor

Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Dame Meg Taylor is a Papua New Guinea lawyer and diplomat; she studied at University of Papua New Guinea. She received her Bachelor of Law degree from Melbourne University, Australia, and her Masters of Law degree from Harvard University, USA. She practised law in Papua New Guinea and was also admitted to ACT bar Australia .She served as a member of the Law Reform Commission.

Her working life began in 1974 as Private Secretary to the first Chief Minister and later Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Michael Somare.

From 1989-94, she was Ambassador of Papua New Guinea to the United States, Mexico and Canada. Upon returning home she served on Boards of Private Sector companies and civil society organizations.

Between 1999 and 2014, she was Vice President, Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), World Bank Group.

In 2002, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Since late 2014 she has been based in Suva as Secretary General to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. She is the first woman to hold the post.

Dame Meg is also currently the Pacific Ocean Commissioner, and as such advocates for the secure future of Pacific people based on the sustainable development, management and conservation of the Pacific Ocean and its resources.

Dame Meg has recently been appointed to the High level steering committee on Every Women Every Child by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

H.E. Mr. Alvaro Garcia
Member of the Presidential cabinet and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget of the Presidency, Uruguay
H.E. Mr. Alvaro Garcia

Member of the Presidential cabinet and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget of the Presidency, Uruguay

Mr. Garcia is Member of the Presidential cabinet and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget of the Presidency, Uruguay. He is an economist and university professor, and has been named as the incoming Economy Minister of Uruguay.

H.E. Mr. Oh Joon
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC
H.E. Mr. Oh Joon

Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC

His Excellency Oh Joon was elected seventy-first President of the Economic and Social Council on 24 July 2015. Ambassador Oh is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York.

H.E. Ms. Karina Gould
Parliamentary Secretary for International Development of Canada
H.E. Ms. Karina Gould

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development of Canada

Karina Gould is a trade and investment specialist and community activist with deep roots in her hometown of Burlington.

Karina fuelled her passion for public service and international development by spending a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico. As a student at McGill University, she served as president of the Arts Undergraduate Society, and organized a $20,000 fundraising campaign for victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. That same year, she began working as a consultant to the Migration and Development Program at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

After completing her master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Oxford, she moved back to Burlington, where she worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission.

Karina has been an active member of her community. She is a member of the Oxford Cambridge Society of Toronto, and has volunteered at the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, and as the social media coordinator for the Mississauga Furniture Bank.

Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya
Under Secretary-General, High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya

Under Secretary-General, High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS

Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, a national of Nepal, was appointed to the position of UN Under- Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) on 5 September 2012. Mr. Acharya has three decades of experience in the diplomatic service of Nepal, during which he was involved in the articulation and promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Acharya was Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations in New York (2009-12), Foreign Secretary with the Government of Nepal (2007-2009), Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization in Geneva (2003-2007), Spokesman of the Foreign Ministry (1999-2002) and Joint Secretary (Director-General) responsible for South Asia, Europe and the Americas and Regional Organizations, Economic Relations and Coordination Divisions (1998-2003).

Ms. Helen Clark
Administrator, UNDP and Chair of UNDG
Ms. Helen Clark

Administrator, UNDP and Chair of UNDG

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 - 2008. Under her leadership, New Zealand achieved significant economic growth, low levels of unemployment, and high levels of investment in education and health, and in the well-being of families and older citizens. Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament in 1981, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland. She graduated with a BA in 1971 and an MA with First Class Honours in 1974.

Ms. Shamshad Akhtar
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP
Ms. Shamshad Akhtar

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, a national of Pakistan, was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and as the tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. She also serves as the United Nations Sherpa for the G20.

Formerly the Secretary-General's Senior Advisor on Economics and Finance, and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, she led the UN-wide coordination of the post-2015 development agenda and related policy and normative work, including supporting work on the Sustainable Financing Strategy.