Messages to the HLPF
  • H.E. Mr. Ola Elvestuen, President of the UN Environment Assembly, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
  • Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Mr. Boris Greguška, Chair of the UNFF14 Bureau, Chief State Counsellor, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic
  • Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s envoy on Youth
  • Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Ola Elvestuen
President of the UN Environment Assembly, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway
H.E. Mr. Ola Elvestuen

President of the UN Environment Assembly, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway

Mr. Ola Elvestuen is the President of the UN Environment Assembly and Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway.

Ola Elvestuen was born on the 9th of October 1967, at Vestre Toten, in the county of Oppland. He spent his childhood at the small town of Eina.

Elvestuen holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oslo, having studied Social Anthropology, Political Science and History. He started a major in History. He has undertaken leadership training at the Norwegian Defence College.

Elvestuen was first elected to the Oslo City Council in 2003, and headed the City Development Committee from 2003 to 2011. He was city councillor for Environment and Transportation in Oslo during 2011-2013.

Elvestuen was leader of the Oslo branch of the Liberal Party from 2000-2007, and has been deputy leader in the Liberal Party since 2008.

In 2013, he was elected to Parliament, from Oslo, and he was re-elected in 2017. He has since 2013 chaired the parliamentary Committee on Energy and Environment.

On Friday the 17 of January, he was appointed as Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway.

Mr. Boris Greguška
Chair of the UNFF14 Bureau, Chief State Counsellor, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic
Mr. Boris Greguška

Chair of the UNFF14 Bureau, Chief State Counsellor, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic

Boris Greguška is a Chief State Counsellor at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic.

In 2001, he started his career at the Forestry Department of the Ministry as a counsellor with main responsibility for forest statistics and economics. Since then, he has held several positions from an expert counsellor to a chief state counsellor with a main focus on international forest and forest-related policies. Since 2004, he has represented the Slovak Republic in a number of intergovernmental organisations and processes relevant to forests, including within the United Nations system and the European Union.

Since 2014, he has been co-chairing FOREST EUROPE, a high-level political process on forests in Europe, working to promote sustainable management of European forests.

From 2014 to 2017, he worked for the Slovak Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. In a position of a second secretary he was responsible for forest-related matters. During the Slovak Presidency in 2016 and the Maltese Presidency in 2017 of the Council of the European Union, he held a position of a Chairman of the Working Party on Forestry in the Council of the European Union. In this position he led the European Union and its Member States in promoting the role of forests and their sustainable management in several global intergovernmental forums.

In May 2018, he was elected a Chair of the United Nations Forum on Forests Bureau for two-year term.

He started studying forestry at a secondary school when he was fourteen. Later he graduated from the Technical University in Zvolen where he obtained a Master of Science degree in forestry and a Philosophiae Doctor degree in forest economics.

Mr. Guy Ryder
Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)
Mr. Guy Ryder

Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Mr. Guy Ryder has been Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) since October 2012. He first joined the ILO in 1998 as Director of the Bureau for Workers’ Activities, and held several positions in the organization, including Executive Director, responsible for international labour standards and fundamental principles and rights at work. Mr. Ryder started his professional career at the International Department of the Trade Union Congress in London. He was also Secretary of the Industry Trade Section of the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees (FIET), General Secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and first General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Mr. Ryder has degrees in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool.

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake
Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake

Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.

Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.

Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

On September 1, 2018 Michelle Bachelet assumed her functions as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1993 and Ms. Bachelet is the seventh Commissioner.

Ms. Bachelet was elected President of Chile on two occasions (2006 – 2010 and 2014 – 2018). She was the first female president of Chile. She served as Health Minister (2000-2002) as well as Chile’s and Latin America’s first female Defense Minister (2002 – 2004).

During her presidential tenures, she promoted the rights of all but particularly those of the most vulnerable. Among her many achievements, education and tax reforms, as well as the creation of the National Institute for Human Rights and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights stand out, as do the establishment of the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality, the adoption of quotas to increase women’s political participation, and the approval of Civil Union Act legislation, granting rights to same sex couples and thus, advancing LGBT rights.

Since the early 1990s, Ms. Bachelet has worked closely with many international organizations. In 2010 she chaired the Social Protection Floor Advisory Group, a joint International Labor Organization (ILO) and World Health Organization (WHO) initiative, which sought to promote social policies to stimulate economic growth and social cohesion.

In 2011, she was named the first Director of UN Women, an organization dedicated to fighting for the rights of women and girls internationally. Economic empowerment and ending violence against women were two of her priorities during her tenure. She has recently pledged to be a Gender Champion, committing to advance gender equality in OHCHR and in international fora.

After finishing her second term in March 2018, she was named Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, an alliance of more than 1000 organizations in 192 countries from the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities. As Co-Chair of the High-Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child, Ms. Bachelet launched Every Woman Every Child Latin America and the Caribbean, the first platform for tailored, regional implementation of the EWEC Global Strategy.

Michelle Bachelet has a Medical Degree in Surgery, with a specialization in Pediatrics and Public Health. She also studied military strategy at Chile's National Academy of Strategy and Policy and at the Inter-American Defense College in the United States.

Statements
Statements
H.E. Mr. Ola Elvestuen, President of the UN Environment Assembly, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
Mr. Boris Greguška, Chair of the UNFF14 Bureau, Chief State Counsellor, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic
Mr. Guy Ryder, Director-General of ILO
Ms. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Remarks of Youth Envoy
United Nations