Launching the decade of action at a time of crisis: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
9:15 AM - 12:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

Documentation

The COVID-19 crisis is likely to have a profound effect on progress towards the sustainable development goals. COVID-19 is not only a threat to our health, but a human crisis of multiple dimensions. It might push tens of millions of people back into extreme poverty and hunger and is impacting the livelihoods of half of the global workforce due to unemployment or underemployment. This is happening at a time when we were still not on track to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and we were launching a decade of action to accelerate progress.

The poorest and the most vulnerable people are most affected by the pandemic, including women and girls, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants and refugees, persons in situation of conflict, informal sector workers and other groups. Countries in special situations, including African countries, the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing states, may be significantly affected in the long term due to their fragile health systems, limited financial and other resources, vulnerability to external shock, and dependence on international trade. Many middle-income countries are also vulnerable and require financial and other support and cooperation to cope with the pandemic and its impacts.

It is vital that, while responding to the crisis and addressing its impacts, countries keep the SDGs and climate commitments in focus so as to hold on to the gains made thus far, and in the recovery, to make investments that propel us toward a more inclusive, sustainable, just and resilient future. A gender sensitive recovery is of utmost importance.

Particular efforts are needed to accelerate progress towards the target scheduled to be achieved by 2020. The HLPF may also give directions on the kind of action to be taken with regard to those targets. Many of the transformations needed to realize the 2030 are possible, yet require strong institutions and integrated, evidence- and data-based policies. Also critical are international and national cooperation, dialogue among countries, multiple stakeholders and regions. At the geopolitical level, the crisis calls for leadership, global solidarity, transparency, trust and multilateral cooperation.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • Where do we stand in terms of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs at the time of COVID-19 and how can we protect advances made thus far on the SDGs?
  • How can the responses to the impacts of COVID-19 accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs?
  • What are the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis that can help increase country resilience and embark on risk-informed sustainable, resilient development pathways?
  • What are ways to ensure that actions do not leave anyone behind?
  • How can we help countries to strengthen statistical capacities, improve the quantity and quality of disaggregated data and support evidence-based swift decision-making?

Chair:

  • H.E. Ms. Mona Juul, President of Economic and Social Council

Presentations:

  • H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan, Vice President of Economic and Social Council, on messages from the Integration Segment of ECOSOC
  • Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on the progress towards SDGs

Keynote speakers:

  • H.E. Ms. Jutta Urpilainen, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation
  • H.E. Mr. Victor Harison, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission

Part 1: 9:35 AM – 10:50 AM: Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19: progress on SDGs, regional dimensions and countries at different levels of development including middle-income countries

Moderator

  • Mr. Manish Bapna, Vice President and Managing Executive Director, World Resources Institute

Resource persons:

  • Mr. Jaouad Mahjour,WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness
  • Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, and Coordinator of Regional Commissions
  • Ms. Mariana Mazzucato,Founder and Director, Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, University College London, and Member of the Committee on Development Policy (CDP)

Lead discussant:

  • Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of City of Al Hoceima, Morocco (Local Authorities Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondents:

  • H.E. Ms. Pilar Garrido, Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy, Costa Rica
  • H.E. Ms. Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for the Environment, Netherlands
  • Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women

Part 2: 10:50 AM – 12:00 PM Keeping the focus on the SDGs while combatting COVID-19: 2020 targets, data, institutions for integrated policy making

Moderator:

  • Ms. Claire Melamed, Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Resource persons:

  • Ms. Ariunzaya Ayush, Co-chair of the High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB), Chairperson of National Statistical Office of Mongolia
  • Ms. Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-Moleketi, Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), former Minister for the Public Service and Administration of South Africa , and former member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress
  • Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF

Lead discussants:

  • Mr. Jack Dangermond, President and founder, ESRI (Geographic Information Systems and location intelligence)
  • Ms. Maria Isabel Leon Klenke, President, PERU Employers Federation, Peru (Business & Industry Major Group)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondents:

  • H.E. Ms. Hala Al Said, Minister of Planning, Egypt
  • H.E. Mr. Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation, Germany
  • Ms. Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of UNEP
Biographies
H. E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan
Armenia, Vice President of ECOSOC
H. E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan

Armenia, Vice President of ECOSOC


H.E. Mr. Mher Margaryan is the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council. In 2019, he was elected Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women for the sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth sessions. He was appointed Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations in 2018. Before that, from 2017 to 2018 Ambassador Margaryan was his country’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. From 2015 to 2017, he was Minister Plenipotentiary to the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva. He worked as Head of the European Union Division at Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2015. With Government experience exceeding two decades, he has served his country in many capacities at Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Missions abroad.

H.E. Ms. Mona Juul
Seventy-fifth President of the Economic and Social Council
H.E. Ms. Mona Juul

Seventy-fifth President of the Economic and Social Council

Her Excellency Mona Juul was elected seventy-fifth President of the Economic and Social Council on 25 July 2019. Ambassador Juul is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations in New York.

Ambassador Mona Juul was previously Ambassador to the United Kingdom (2014-2018), Director General for Security Policy and the High North in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2014), Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York (2005-2010) and Chair of the 1st Committee of the 61 session of the United Nations General Assembly (2006).

She served as Ambassador to Israel (2001-2005), accredited to Cyprus for the same period. State Secretary/Deputy Foreign Minister at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2000), Special Advisor/Ambassador/Middle East Coordinator in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-2000) chairing the AHLC (Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on Assistance to the Palestinians). She was Minister Counsellor at the Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv (1994-1997). Her first posting was at the Norwegian Embassy in Cairo (1988-1990).

Mona has been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1986, during which time she has gained broad diplomatic experience. This includes working in the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1992-1993) and member of the small Norwegian team that facilitated the secret negotiations between Israel and the PLO leading to the Oslo Agreement.

She holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Oslo.

Ambassador Juul was born 10 April 1959 and is married to Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen. They have two children.

Mr Manish Bapna
Managing Director, World Resource Institute
Mr Manish Bapna

Managing Director, World Resource Institute

Manish Bapna is the executive vice president and managing director of the World Resources Institute, a global research organization that works to address six urgent sustainability challenges: food, forests, water, climate, energy and cities. He served as WRI’s acting president from 2011-2012. Before joining WRI in 2007, Manish was executive director of the non-profit Bank Information Centre (BIC).

Mr. Jack Dangermond
President and founder, ESRI (Geographic Information Systems and location intelligence)
Mr. Jack Dangermond

President and founder, ESRI (Geographic Information Systems and location intelligence)

A landscape architect by training, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research
Institute (Esri) in 1969 with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help design a better future. Under Dangermond's leadership, that vision has continued to guide Esri in creating cutting-edge GIS and Geodesign technologies used in every industry to make a difference worldwide.

Dangermond fostered the growth of Esri from a small research group to an organization recognized as the world leader in GIS software development. Esri employs more than 4,000 people worldwide; many who shared his passion for GIS in the early days are still with the company and remain dedicated to helping our users be successful.

Dangermond’s vision for Esri goes beyond building the leading GIS technology. He keeps the company mindful of global challenges and the needs of specific industries. The ongoing drive is to engineer ArcGIS to aggregate and integrate increasing quantities of data, to visualize and analyze the data to gain holistic understanding, and to help individuals and organizations make impactful evidence-based decisions.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin
UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
Mr. Liu Zhenmin

UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Mr. Liu Zhenmin of China as the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs effective 26 July 2017. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Liu was Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of China since 2013. Among his various diplomatic assignments, he served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (2011-2013).

Mr. Liu brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the diplomatic service, with a strong focus on the promotion of bilateral, regional and global issues. He was deeply involved for 10 years in climate change negotiations including the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. He also widely participated in the international activities on the protection of our planet including Antarctica and the oceans. Over the last several years, in various capacities, he has been consistently highlighting and advocating for sustainable development issues.

Mr. Liu started his career at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in 1982. Since then, he has served the Ministry in various capacities, including as Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-2011); Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (2006-2009); Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (2003-2006); and Deputy Director-General, Department of Treaty and Law (1998-2003). He also served in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland (1992-1995) and in the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations (1984-1988).

As Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He also oversees the substantive services to many intergovernmental processes, including the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC.

In addition to intergovernmental processes, Mr. Liu oversees DESA’s policy analysis and capacity development work. He also serves as the Convenor of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on all development-related issues, including climate change, internet governance, and financing for development.

Mr. Liu holds a Master of Laws from the Law School of Peking University. He was born in August 1955 in Shanxi Province, China. Mr. Liu is married.

Mr. Mohamed Boudra
Mayor of Al Hoceima/UCLG
Mr. Mohamed Boudra

Mayor of Al Hoceima/UCLG

Dr. Mohamed Boudra has been involved in municipal leadership for over two decades, having held numerous leadership positions at local, regional, and national levels. He is the Mayor of Al Hoceima, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Municipal Council (AMPCC), President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Co-President of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM), and has served as Vice-President of UCLG Africa for the North African Region, President of the Political Council of the Mediterranean Commission of UCLG, and Vice-President of the Standing Committee for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (COPPEM). He holds a Doctorate in Medicine, and a specialization in Electro-radiology.

Ms. Claire Melamed
Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Ms. Claire Melamed

Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Claire Melamed is the CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. This growing network brings together several hundred members -- governments, private sector, and civil society -- to harness and leverage data and data technology towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. She was previously Managing Director of the Overseas Development Institute, and in 2014, she worked in the office of the UN Secretary General, writing the report of the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution, “A World That Counts”. "We say that every life counts, but we still don't count every life", she says in her advocacy to use the knowledge provided by data to improve lives and protect the planet. Claire is based in London and heads up a global team based in six countries. Claire serves on a number of Boards and advisory groups for institutions including the UK Office of National Statistics Data Science Campus, Government of UAE Task Force on Global Data Commons, Overseas Development Institute Human Mobility Initiative, and Mo Ibrahim Foundation Governance Index.

Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi
Chair of the Committee of the Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), former Minister for the Public and Administration of South Africa, and Chancellor, Nelson Mandela University
Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

Chair of the Committee of the Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), former Minister for the Public and Administration of South Africa, and Chancellor, Nelson Mandela University

DPhil Honoris Causa (Nelson Mandela University), Masters in Administration (University of Pretoria), Leadership programme (Wharton), Fellow of the Institute of Politics (Harvard)

Some of Geraldine’s early achievements include working on the preparation of the African National Congress for its first democratic elections in 1994 as National Deputy Elections Coordinator of the African National Congress. She previously served in the leadership of the African National Congress (South Africa).

Geraldine served as member of the South African Parliament for three consecutive parliaments (1994 through September 2008 when she resigned from parliament). She served in the South African Government as Deputy Minister of Welfare and Population Development, thereafter as Minister for Welfare and Population Development. Subsequently, Geraldine was appointed as Minister of Public Service and Administration, for two consecutive terms until her resignation in September (1999 - 2008). During her tenure as Public Service Minister she served as Chair of the Pan African Ministers of Public Service for three consecutive terms in addition, she was appointed at a global level to the United Nations Committee of Experts in Public Administration (CEPA), a subsidiary/expert body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She served on the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management Board.

She was a Member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID), Mc Gill University Canada and served on the Africa Advisory Board of Women’s World Banking until December 2018.

Fraser-Moleketi was the former Global Director of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Democratic Governance Group (DGP) from January 2009 until end of August 2013; there after she joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) as Special Envoy on Gender (SEOG) at the level of a Vice President until 1 January 2017.

Geraldine serves on various Boards across academia, government and development organizations on issues including youth, women empowerment, sustainable development & education, governance and poverty eradication. She is the Chancellor to the Nelson Mandela University, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA); She has been reappointed, and serves as Chairman, to the Committee of Experts in Public Administration (CEPA) by the United Nations Secretary General.

Geraldine Fraser Moleketi received several awards, including the OP Dwivedi Public Service Award from the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration, and a Special Award for Outstanding Achievement from University of Pretoria’s School of Public Management and Administration. She was named "2016 New African Woman of the Year", an award made by London-based magazine, New African.

She is a Non-Executive Board Member of the Standard Bank Group (SBG) and Standard Bank South Africa (SSA) and Lead Independent Director of EXXARO Resources.

Ms. Henrietta Fore
UNICEF Executive Director
Ms. Henrietta Fore

UNICEF Executive Director

Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades.

From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Fore served as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of United States Foreign Assistance. The first woman to serve in these roles, she was responsible for managing $39.5 billion of U.S. foreign assistance annually, including support to peoples and countries recovering from disaster and building their futures economically, politically and socially.

Earlier in her career at USAID, Ms. Fore was appointed Assistant Administrator for Asia and Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise (1989-1993). She served on the Boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award the Secretary of State can bestow.

From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Fore served as Under Secretary of State for Management, the Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of State. She was responsible for the staff, resources, facilities, technology and security of the Department and was the Secretary of State’s principal advisor on management issues. She oversaw a management budget of $3.6 billion, 7,200 employees, 30,000 contractors and 267 embassies and posts in 172 countries.

From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Fore was the 37th Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury, managing the world's largest manufacturer of coins, medals and coin products. In 2005, she received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of Treasury’s highest honor.

Immediately prior to her appointment with UNICEF, Ms. Fore was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, a manufacturing and investment company. She also served on the boards of a number of domestic and international public corporations, including as Global Co-Chair of the Asia Society, Chair of the Middle East Investment Initiative, and Co-Chair of WomenCorporateDirectors. She also served on the boards of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Aspen Institute, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) and the Center for Global Development (CGD).

Ms. Fore has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wellesley College and a Master of Science in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. She is married and has four children.

Ms. María Isabel León Klenke
President, PERU Employers Federation, Peru (Business & Industry Major Group)
Ms. María Isabel León Klenke

President, PERU Employers Federation, Peru (Business & Industry Major Group)

Graduate degree in education; academic specialization in Educational Policies and Regional Development; master degree in social management (PUCP). Broad experience in research and project design for the education sector. Promoter, founder and manager of study centers and private technical education institutes of commercial aviation, hospitality and tourism. Board member of trade associations and technical organizations related to education and tourism. Has been appointed as National Counselor for the Peruvian National Council of Education. President of the National Confederation of Private Business Institutions – CONFIEP.

Ms. Mariana Mazzucato
Professor, University College London in Economics Innovation and Public Value
Ms. Mariana Mazzucato

Professor, University College London in Economics Innovation and Public Value

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), where she is Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP). Her highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (2013) investigates the critical role the state plays in driving growth—and her book The Value of Everything: making and taking in the global economy (2018) looks at how value creation needs to be rewarded over value extraction. She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led inclusive and sustainable growth. Her current roles include being a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; the South African President’s Economic Advisory Council; the OECD Secretary General’s Advisory Group on a New Growth Narrative; the UN’s Committee for Development Policy. Through her role as Special Advisor for the EC Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, she authored the high impact report on Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union, turning “missions” into a crucial new instrument in the European Commission’s Horizon innovation programme.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, Phumzile
Executive Director of UN Women
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, Phumzile

Executive Director of UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government and civil society, and with the private sector, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa.

From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996 to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and gender equality.

She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Ms. Vera Songwe
Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Coordinator of the Regional Commissions Moderator
Ms. Vera Songwe

Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Coordinator of the Regional Commissions Moderator

Ms. Songwe brings to the position a longstanding track record of policy advice and results oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a demonstrated strong and clear strategic vision for the continent. She is currently Regional Director Africa covering West and Central Africa for the International Finance Corporation (since 2015) and non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute: Global Development and Africa Growth Initiative (since 2011). She was previously Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015), Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions (2008-2011) and Lead Country Sector Coordinator and Senior Economist, Philippines (2005-2008). She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional.

Born in 1968, she holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Economics, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme D'Etudes Approfondies in Economic Sciences and Politics from the Université Catholique De Louvain, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is also a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes College in Cameroon.

Statements
Statements
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Mher Margaryan
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director
United Nations