Thematic Session: Protecting and advancing human wellbeing and ending poverty
Co-conveners: DESA, UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, WHO.

External experts listed on this page and the following United Nations entities have also contributed to the workstream: ECLAC, ESCWA, FAO, IFAD, IOM, ITC, OHCHR, OSAA, UNDRR, UNEP, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, WFP, WMO.

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.

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 tradeoffs 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?

Participants
Mr. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah
Director, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development
Mr. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah

Director, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development

Mr. Anirudh Krishna
Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University
Mr. Anirudh Krishna

Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University

Mr. Fernando Reimers
Professor, International Education, Harvard University
Mr. Fernando Reimers

Professor, International Education, Harvard University

Mr. Jose Roberto Guevara
President, International Council for Adult Education
Mr. Jose Roberto Guevara

President, International Council for Adult Education

Mr. Jose Vera
World Blind Union
Mr. Jose Vera

World Blind Union

Mr. K Srinath Reddy
President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)
Mr. K Srinath Reddy

President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI)

Mr. Olivier de Schueter
UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
Mr. Olivier de Schueter

UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Mr. Parfait Eloundou
Professor and Chair, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Mr. Parfait Eloundou

Professor and Chair, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University

Mr. Roberto Bissio
Executive Director, Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Third World Institute)
Mr. Roberto Bissio

Executive Director, Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Third World Institute)

Mr. Roberto Bissio is executive director of the Third World Institute, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Uruguay and member of the editorial team of the Spotlight report on sustainable development. Mr. Bissio is a member of the international committee of Third World Network and serves on the board of the Program on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, based in Delhi, India. In 2004, together with Nafis Sadik, Sir Richard Jolly, Dr. Mbikusita-Lewanika and Margaret Snyder, Mr. Bissio was member of an advisory panel to UNIFEM that recommended the upgrading of that fund for women into a full UN agency, kicking off a process that ultimately led to the creation of UN-Women. He was been a member of the civil society advisory group to the UNDP administrator between 2000 and 2014. He served on the board of WEDO (Women’s Environment and Development Organization, based in NY) and of the Montreal International Forum. Mr. Bissio has written on development issues since 1973 as a journalist and columnist and he is the author of the reference books “Third World Guide” and “World Guide”.

Ms. Antonia Wulff
Coordinator at Education International
Ms. Antonia Wulff

Coordinator at Education International

Antonia Wulff is a Coordinator at Education International (EI), the world federation of teacher unions. She coordinated EI's advocacy and engagement in the intergovernmental negotiations on Agenda 2030, and is now focusing on SDG implementation and monitoring. Her work covers a broad range of policy areas related to quality education and the status and rights of education workers. Prior to joining EI, Antonia managed a project on democratic education in Finland. She has a background in the student movement and is a former chair of the Council of Europe Advisory Council for Youth. She has a Master in Sociology from the University of Helsinki.

Ms. Arelys Bellorini
Senior United Nations Representative for World Vision
Ms. Arelys Bellorini

Senior United Nations Representative for World Vision

Ms. Claudine Ramiarison
Director-General of Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Madagascar
Ms. Claudine Ramiarison

Director-General of Scientific Research, Ministry of Education, Madagascar

Ms. Diana Mitlin
Professor of Global Urbanism, University of Manchester and Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development
Ms. Diana Mitlin

Professor of Global Urbanism, University of Manchester and Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development

Ms. Erva Nur Cinar
Global Focal Point for Humanitarian Affairs Constituency / UN Major Group for Children and Youth
Ms. Erva Nur Cinar

Global Focal Point for Humanitarian Affairs Constituency / UN Major Group for Children and Youth

Ms. Ilona Kickbusch
Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Co-chair of UCD 2030 and Co-chair of The Lancet FT Commission on Governing Health Futures
Ms. Ilona Kickbusch

Adjunct Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Co-chair of UCD 2030 and Co-chair of The Lancet FT Commission on Governing Health Futures

Ms. Jane Barratt
Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing
Ms. Jane Barratt

Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing

Ms. Jane M Barratt is the Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing (IFA) an international non-government organisation with general consultative status with the United Nations and its agencies including formal relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Representing over 75 million older people through the membership of the IFA, Jane has direct responsibility for the corporation’s global operational performance, quality and strategic implementation, and business development. This includes leadership at the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York, Geneva and Vienna and the WHO.

Among her many current positions Jane is a Member of Vision Academy, Director, Baycrest Health Sciences and Chair of the Education Advisory Committee, Associate Scientist, Sinai Health System, Member, Global Committee for the DR Barometer Program, and Member of the International Council for Adult Immunisation.

Ms. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh
Executive Director, Center for Support Community Development Initiatives, Viet Nam
Ms. Khuat Thi Hai Oanh

Executive Director, Center for Support Community Development Initiatives, Viet Nam

Ms. Leticia Adelaide Appiah
Executive Director, National Population Council of Ghana
Ms. Leticia Adelaide Appiah

Executive Director, National Population Council of Ghana

Ms. Luiza Drummond Veado
Outright International/LGBTI Stakeholder Group
Ms. Luiza Drummond Veado

Outright International/LGBTI Stakeholder Group

Ms. Terry McGovern
Professor and Chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University
Ms. Terry McGovern

Professor and Chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University

United Nations