Protecting and advancing human wellbeing and ending poverty
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

Documentation
Biographies

Advancing human well-being is at the heart of sustainable development. It is about upholding human rights, eradicating poverty and deprivations across multiple dimensions, closing opportunity gaps and expanding capabilities – including those needed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences as well as ensuring gender equality. Protecting the well-being of all people is also about safeguarding the natural environment on which everyone depends, including future generations, and tapping into synergies across the SDGs.

COVID-19 has tragically laid bare shortfalls in many areas and threatens to push millions of people back into poverty. Pandemic response efforts and long-term development plans must work to eliminate poverty and hunger; reduce inequalities in opportunities; ensure access to quality health care and reduce exposure to disease; increase access to quality education and other services; and address persistent gender inequality.

All of this is demonstrably possible, but recovering and building back better will require cooperation, collaboration and dialogue among multiple stakeholders to ensure no one is left behind, including the most vulnerable.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • What are some promising actions to support progress toward advancing human well-being that generate synergies across Sustainable Development Goals and Targets? Are there trade-offs from these actions and if so, how can they be mitigated?
  • What are the most critical interventions and partnerships needed over the next 2 years, 5 years, 10 years to protect and advance human well-being and end poverty?
  • Which groups are especially vulnerable to poverty and lack access to capability enhancing services?
  • What are ways to ensure that actions leave no one behind? How might COVID-19 facilitate or complicate efforts to reduce vulnerabilities among marginalized groups?
  • Are there examples of successful partnerships and initiatives for advancing human well-being? Can these be scaled up or adjusted to fit other contexts?
  • How can science and technology support well-being in the context of COVID-19 and in the future?

Chair:

  • H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale, Morocco, Vice President of ECOSOC

Keynote speaker:

  • Mr. David Nabarro, WHO Special Envoy on COVID-19

Moderator:

  • Ms. Cristina Duarte, former Finance Minister of Cabo Verde and member of Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and the UN High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs

Resource persons:

  • Ms. Imme Scholz, Professor and Deputy Director, German Development Institute
  • Mr. Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO and Director General, AMREF Health Africa Group

Lead discussants:

  • Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Ms. Jane Miano, Founder and Coordinator, Focus of Disabled Persons, Kenya (Stakeholder Group of Ageing / Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities)

Followed by interactive discussion

Respondents:

  • H.E. Mr. Vladislav Smrz, Deputy Minister for Policy and International Relations, Ministry of the Environment, Czech Republic
  • H.E. Ms. Eryka Mouynes, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation, Panama
Biographies
Dr. Imme Scholz
Professor and Deputy Director, German Development Institute
Dr. Imme Scholz

Professor and Deputy Director, German Development Institute

Dr. Imme Scholz is a sociologist and Deputy Director of the German Development Institute (DIE – Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik). She is deputy chair of the German Council for Sustainable Development and a member of the German Committee of Sustainability Research in Future Earth. She has published extensively on climate change and development; capacity development in environment; institutional development and environmental policy in developing countries; natural resource management, particularly sustainable forest use. She joined DIE in 1992 as a research fellow. Between 1999 and 2002, she was on leave and worked as an environmental policy advisor in the Brazilian Amazon for German development cooperation.

H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale
Vice President of ECOSOC
H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale

Vice President of ECOSOC

H.E. Hilale has been Morocco's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York since April 2014. He is a career diplomat who has served in various posts around the world. Before his appointment in New York, he served as the Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN in Geneva starting in 2008. From 2005 to 2008, he served as the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. From 1996 to 2001, he served in several diplomatic posts. including as Ambassador to Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia. Before that he served as a Member of the Cabinet of the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and a Member of the International Committee of Legal Experts, in charge of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use of Chemical Weapons. From 1976 to 1991, Ambassador Hilale served in the Moroccan Embassies in Algiers, Monrovia, Addis Ababa and Geneva. Ambassador Hilale graduated from the Mohammed V University in Rabat in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Mr. David Nabarro
Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Food and Nutrition
Mr. David Nabarro

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Food and Nutrition

David was a Lecturer in Nutrition and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1982-1985) and Senior Lecturer in Health Systems at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (1985-1989). He joined the United Kingdom Government Foreign Office (Overseas Development Administration) as Senior Health Adviser for East Africa (1989–1990) and Chief Health and Population Adviser (1990-1997). He became Director for Human Development in the UK Department for International Development (DFID, 1997–1999). In 1999 David moved into the United Nations system starting as an Executive Director at the World Health Organization responsible for the Roll Back Malaria Project and the Office of the Director-General. He was Special Representative of the WHO Director-General for Health Action in Crises (2002-2005). He was then appointed as UN System Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza (2005-2014), United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition (2008-2014), Coordinator of the Movement for Scaling Up Nutrition (2011-2014, as Assistant Secretary-General), UN S-G’s Special Envoy for the West Africa Ebola Outbreak Response (2014-2015), and UN S-G’s Special Adviser for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change (2016 - 2017,as Under-Secretary-General)). He was appointed, by the Director-General of WHO, as chair of the expert group on the reform of WHO’s work on outbreaks and emergencies in 2015. In October 2018, David received the World Food Prize together with Lawrence Haddad for leadership on nutrition.

David is currently Co-Director (since mid-2019) and Chair of Global Health at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College, London. He is Strategic Director of the Swiss-based social enterprise 4SD (Skills Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development), established in 2017, training and mentoring leaders for sustainable development. Since June 2018 David has curated the Food Systems Dialogues as a contribution to the transformation of food systems: they have involved more than 1700 leaders in 29 locations within the last 18 months. From July 2018 David contributed to preparations for the UN’s September 2019 Climate Action Summit. David co-facilitated the coalition that advanced the Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) workstream (co-led by China and New Zealand). David is co-chair of the forum on Climate Change and Health which will complete its work at the World Innovation Summit for Health, November 2020. From March 2020, David is appointed Special Envoy of WHO Director General on COVID-19.

Mr. Githinji Gitahi
Global CEO and Director General, AMREF Health Africa Group
Mr. Githinji Gitahi

Global CEO and Director General, AMREF Health Africa Group

Since 2015, Dr. Gitahi has been the Global CEO of Amref Health Africa (Amref). But long before Dr. Gitahi led the largest Africa-based healthcare nonprofit, he grew up on his mother’s coffee farm in Nyeri, a central province in Kenya. At 10 years old, when not in school, you could find Githinji working side by side with his mother on their one acre farm, where they earned about $100-$200 per year.

“Occasionally when our yield was low, we would go to other farms and pick their coffee for them for very little money. Sometimes we would pick and carry up to 520 kilos to the factory for another family. Most families like ours had their own children picking at their farms on Saturdays, but wealthier families often needed extra labor, so it was common to work on their farms after picking at your own farm for extra coin.”
Until his appointment at Amref, Dr. Gitahi was the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa of Smile Train International, where he successfully established partnerships for long-term sustainability with various African governments. Dr. Gitahi began working as a Medical Doctor and moved slowly into management within the hospital environment where he discovered his passion for marketing.

This led him to senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline and Madison Insurance, where he established their medical division to create health insurance packages. He later joined the Nation Media Group, where he was the Managing Director for Monitor Publications in Uganda as well as General Manager for Marketing and Circulation in East Africa. He also held progressively senior positions at Avenue Group and within the insurance industry. Dr. Gitahi has a Masters in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing. As a Medical Doctor, Dr. Gitahi practiced Gynecology, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

At Amref, Dr. Gitahi has led the organization through a lenses of “One Amref” to raise revenues from $80 million to $120 million, opened opportunities for social enterprise that resulted in net profits of $2 million, and up-held our reputation of that of a world-class organization.

Dr. Gitahi is also the Steering Committee Co-Chair of UHC2030—a World Bank and World Health Organization global initiative for universal health coverage. Dr. Gitahi is interested in the key drivers of lasting health change and believes in the focus on universal health coverage (UHC) as the roadmap to achieving good health for all people. He says: “UHC is key. It reflects the challenges we face in affordability, accountability, accessibility and integration of services, leadership, governance and management.” UHC2030 will convene over 150 delegates from 23 countries, international agencies, and academia to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly this fall. In addition, he was recently appointed as a member of the governing Board of the Africa Centre’s for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Dr. Gitahi’s undying passion, coupled with his authenticity and charisma, means he is in high-demand for leadership roles and speaking engagements across the world..

Ms. Cristina Duarte
former Finance Minister of Cabo Verde and member of Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and the UN High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs
Ms. Cristina Duarte

former Finance Minister of Cabo Verde and member of Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) and the UN High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs

Cristina Duarte has 34 years of professional experience, most of which is in leadership and senior management positions in government and in the private sector. She served Cabo Verde as Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration from 2006 to 2016.

Since 2018 Mrs. Duarte has been a Member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration, established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). She is also a Member of the United Nations High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs and Visiting Research Fellow, at WITS University, School of Governance, South Africa.

Over her long career, she has played an instrumental role in public policy making and in the private sector. Before serving as Minister, she was the Director of a national reform programme on private sector development and competitiveness. She has also been Director for Planning and Studies in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. In the private sector, she rose to become Vice President of Citibank, a world class financial institution. Before then, she provided advice to several international financial organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations.

Mrs. Duarte presented her vision for Africa’s transformation as a final round candidate in the 2015 election for the Presidency of the African Development Bank wide range of senior decision-makers both in government and in business around the world. She is a Member of President Paul Kagame’s Advisory Committee on African Union Reforms. She is a Member of the Board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and she is a Member of the Board of the Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (UONGOZI Institute). In 2014, 2015 and 2016 she has been considered one of the “100 African Personalities” by Financial Afrik.

Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris
Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and Head of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Ilze Brands Kehris assumed her functions as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on 14 January 2020, heading the UN Human Rights Office in New York. Ms. Brands Kehris combines extensive expertise in political science, conflict prevention and human rights, with a specialisation in minority rights, and long-standing experience in intergovernmental fora and with civil society organisations.
From 2017 to 2019, Ms. Brands Kehris served as independent Expert Member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the treaty body monitoring the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Between 2016 and 2019, she served as a senior research fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Lund University, in Sweden.
She has previously held several leadership positions in national and regional level human rights organisations, including as Member and Chairperson of the Management Board of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency.
Ms. Brands Kehris also held the positions as Director of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, first Vice-President and Member of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and Member of the Management Board and Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Board of the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. She also served as Director of the Latvian Centre for Human Rights.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Mills College in California, USA, a Master of Arts in Political Science (International Relations) from Columbia University in New York, USA, where she also pursued Ph.D. studies.
Ms. Brands Kehris, who is Latvian, speaks English, Russian, French, Latvian and Swedish.

Ms. Jane Miamo
Founder and Coordinator, Focus of Disabled Persons, Kenya (Stakeholder Group of Ageing / Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities)
Ms. Jane Miamo

Founder and Coordinator, Focus of Disabled Persons, Kenya (Stakeholder Group of Ageing / Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities)

Jane is an older person and a wheelchair user who has dedicated years of her life as an activist to raise the voices of people of all ages with disability and bring messages from more hard to reach communities to decision makers. She is an active member of an Older Persons Association in Kasarani, Nairobi Kenya, and has participated in several international forums since 2016. In 2016 she represented Older Persons with disabilities in the WHO GATE Meeting in Geneva Switzerland, in 2018 she was a speaker at the Global Disability Summit in London on the Theme "Leaving no One Behind", as well as several events on human rights, disabilities and ageing in Africa and beyond.

Statements
Statements
Githinji Gitahi - AMREF Health Africa Group
Intervention by Mission of Thailand
Remarks by Mission of Nigeria
Statement by the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia
United Nations