SDGs in focus: SDGs 1, 2, 8, 17 and interlinkages among those goals and with other SDGs

Poverty and hunger are on the rise after years of decline, a trend exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and past progress in many areas of eliminating poverty in all its dimensions is facing headwinds. As many as 132 million additional people went hungry in 2020 because of the COVID-19 crisis, and it is projected that as many as 163 million additional people could be pushed into extreme poverty through 2021. The livelihoods of people living in poverty and informal workers are at risk without social protection to cope in many countries, with women particularly impacted. At the same time shrinking fiscal space in many countries further restricts options.

In the recovery from COVID-19 and its negative impacts, economic growth is necessary to lift people out of poverty, yet it needs to be much more inclusive. The critical role of social protection needs to be reinforced, while also addressing the inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic including gender inequality. The loss of jobs must be urgently addressed. Additional actions are needed to transform economies and food systems to deliver on the interlinked SDGs in an integrated manner especially in growing sectors, such as green jobs and service provision, and with investments in climate-friendly agriculture and low-carbon infrastructures as well as in ICT. Scaling up successful initiatives and investments for systemic transformations is needed to eradicate poverty and hunger advancing good health while building resilience for the future. This session will examine the challenges and opportunities for ending poverty and hunger and transforming towards inclusive and sustainable economies.

Proposed guiding questions:
  • What have been the key trends regarding SDGs 1, 2 and 8, and relations with SDG 17?
  • How can increasing poverty and hunger be tackled while transforming economies and food systems towards increased resilience and lowered climate/environmental impacts?
  • How can economic recoveries be shaped to ensure more inclusive and sustainable patterns of growth that generate decent jobs, ensure equal access to basic services and social protection, and support carbon-neutrality and a better balance with nature?
  • How can food systems be transformed to deliver better nutrition for all, while improving their balance with nature?
  • What are the opportunities to be realized (and pitfalls to be avoided) in the immediate and medium terms towards these ends? What kind of international cooperation is needed to provide the necessary support?
  • What are ways to combat poverty and hunger and respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its impacts that enable more inclusive, equitable, resilient and sustainable development?
  • How can policies in those areas support gender equality?
Chair:
  • H.E. Mr. Munir Akram (Pakistan), President of Economic and Social Council
Keynote address:
  • H.E. Ms. Sania Nishtar, Federal Minister and Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety to the Prime Minister of Pakistan
Highlights:
  • Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UNDESA, presentation of Good Practices in the implementation of SDGs
  • Presentation of the report of the Secretary-General on progress towards the SDGs - Goals 1, 2, 8 and 17: Ms. Yongyi Min, Chief of SDG Monitoring Section, Statistics Division of UNDESA

Interactive panel discussion

Moderator:
  • Ms. Gerda Verburg, Coordinator at Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement
Panellists/Resource persons:
  • Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • Mr. Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organization
  • Mr. Aloysius Ordu, Head of Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution, Former Vice President of the African Development Bank
  • Ms. Katherine Richardson, Professor, Biological Oceanography Globe Institute, Leader Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen
Lead discussants:
  • Mr. Maximo Torero, FAO Chief Economist
  • Mr. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
  • Mr. Eric Manzi, Deputy General Secretary of the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), Rwanda (Workers & Trade Union Major Group)
  • Ms. Ruramiso Mashumba, Director and Founder of Mnandi Africa, Zimbabwe (Business & Industry Major Group)
Respondents:
  • H.E. Mr. Lassané KABORE, Minister of Economy, Finances and Development of Burkina Faso
  • H.E. Ms. Meryame Kitir, Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium
  • H.E. Ms. Silvana Eugenia Vargas Winstanley, Minister of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru
  • H.E. Mr. Thanawat Tiensin, Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the Rome agencies
Biographies
H.E. Mr. Lassané KABORE
Minister of Economy, Finances and Development of Burkina Faso
H.E. Mr. Lassané KABORE

Minister of Economy, Finances and Development of Burkina Faso

Né en 1968, Lassané KABORE a pris les rênes du Ministère de l’économie, des finances et du développement en janvier 2019. Avant cette nomination, il occupait le poste de Directeur chargé de la Stabilité Macroéconomique et de la Surveillance Multilatérale des politiques économiques et financières des Etats membres de la CEDEAO.

Il a par ailleurs été Directeur Général de la Coopération. A ce titre il fût Gouverneur suppléant pour la Banque Mondiale, la Banque Africaine de Développement et la Banque Islamique de Développement au compte du Burkina Faso et Ordonnateur Suppléant du Fonds européen de développement (FED).

Titulaire d’un Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées en Management, Option, Stratégie et Gestion d’Entreprise de l’Université de Paris-I, Panthéon Sorbonne, d’un diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées en Management, Option, Stratégie et Gestion d’Entreprise du Centre d’Etudes, Financières, Economiques et Bancaires de Marseille et d’un diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) en Economie et Socio-économie du Développement option « macroéconomie » de l’Université de Ouagadougou.

Cet inspecteur du trésor de formation et économiste Sénior, dispose d’une solide expérience dans la conduite des chantiers en matière d’intégration économique, financière et monétaire des Etats membres de la CEDEAO, dans la mise en œuvre du programme de coopération monétaire de la CEDEAO, la conduite des missions de supervision dans les Etats membres ; dans l’analyse des rapports pays en matière de performance macroéconomiques ; l’examen et validation des programmes de convergence des Etats membres, dans l’élaboration et la publication des rapports de convergence économique des Etats membres.

Il est titulaire de plusieurs certificats sur « la Négociation des transactions financières », sur la « Gestion macroéconomique et politique des finances publiques », en matière de lutte contre le Blanchiment d’Argent et le Financement du Terrorisme.

H.E. Mr. Thanawat Tiensin
Chairperson of FAO Committee on World Food Security, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the Rome agencies
H.E. Mr. Thanawat Tiensin

Chairperson of FAO Committee on World Food Security, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the Rome agencies

Mr. Thanawat Tiensin was elected as Chairperson of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on October 18, 2019. As the Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN Agencies in Rome, he has taken on other responsibilities such as Vice Chairperson of the 41st FAO Conference, Chairperson of the Asia Regional Group, Bureau member of the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG), Bureau member of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), Bureau member and Rapporteur of the Plenary Assembly of Global Soil Partnership (GSP), Bureau member of the G77 & China, and Vice Chairperson and Member of the FAO Council in 2018.

Mr. Tiensin was a former Assistant Director General and Senior Expert on International Livestock Trade and Cooperation at Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. He has worked for international development programmes in various technical areas such as agriculture, livestock, food security and food safety, international trade, and capacity building of veterinary service-related issues with FAO, ADB, APHCA, EU, IAEA, and OIE in several countries including DPR Korea, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, and Thailand.

With over 50 academic publications, he also provides lectures and technical services for various national and international universities and institutions. Mr. Tiensin has a Ph.D. in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics from Utrecht University, The Netherlands and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) from Kasetsart University, Thailand.

H.E. Ms. Meryame Kitir
Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium
H.E. Ms. Meryame Kitir

Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium

Meryame Kitir’s father left Morocco as a migrant worker in the early sixties. He settled in Limburg to work in the coal mines. Her mother joined him in Maasmechelen, the city where Meryame Kitir was born. After losing her mother as a toddler and her father on the verge of adulthood, she started working at the Ford automotive factory in Genk at 19 to take care of her brothers and sisters. At the factory she took up trade union activities standing up for solidarity and equal opportunities. These values were at the core of her engagement when she was first elected into Parliament at the age of 27.

Meryame Kitir continued working at the factory during her parliamentary mandate to keep the strong bond with the workers that voted for her. Also today - as a Minister of Development Cooperation in charge of Major Cities - solidarity and equality of opportunities guide her engagement. “I want to empower people – men, women, the young and the old – in a sustainable way. Here, close to home, but also far away, across borders. Self-reliance and a better future are only to be attained through solidarity, organized in government structures. In case no government is near because of conflict for example, it is our duty to look for different options of support. But always with the very same objective: to empower people. International solidarity is not an act of charity. To the contrary, it is a matter of common sense. In the end, by joining our efforts we will all be better off.”

H.E. Ms. Silvana Eugenia Vargas Winstanley
Minister of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru
H.E. Ms. Silvana Eugenia Vargas Winstanley

Minister of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru

Ph.D in Rural Sociology and Demography from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). At PUCP, she has served as Director of the Master's Degree Sociology Program, Executive Director of the Human Development Institute of Latin America and Academic Director of Social Responsibility. She has extensive experience in applied social research (quantitative and qualitative) in the fields of Human Development; Poverty and inequality; Rural development; Territorial development; Interculturality; and Social policy. She teaches and publishes in these areas regularly. Along with her academic work, she has relevant professional experience with the international technical cooperation, public sector, grassroots organizations and research centers. Among others, she has worked for the World Bank and the International Labor Office. Currently, she serves as Minister of Development and Social Inclusion in Peru.

Mr. Aloysius Ordu
Head of Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution, Former Vice President of the African Development Bank
Mr. Aloysius Ordu

Head of Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution, Former Vice President of the African Development Bank

Aloysius Uche Ordu is a Senior Fellow at Brookings Global Economy and Development program and Director of the Africa Growth Initiative. Prior to his appointment at Brookings, he was Managing Partner at Omapu Associates LLC, a boutique advisory services and consulting firm. Dr. Ordu was Vice President, Operations, at the African Development Bank (AfDB). Before his appointment as Vice President, he was Regional Director for Eastern Africa at the AfDB. Dr. Ordu previously worked at the World Bank for over two decades and served in various leadership and managerial capacities, including Director of Operations Policy; Operations Director for the Latin America and the Caribbean region; Country Manager (Manila, Philippines); Manager, Development Effectiveness, Middle East and North Africa region; and Coordinator of the World Bank Group’s Young Professionals Program. Prior to his long career in international development, Dr. Ordu worked at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and at the Midland Bank, PLC, London. Dr. Ordu studied Economics at the University of Sussex and Bristol University, UK.

Mr. Eric Manzi
Deputy General Secretary of the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), Rwanda (Workers & Trade Union Major Group)
Mr. Eric Manzi

Deputy General Secretary of the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), Rwanda (Workers & Trade Union Major Group)

Eric Manzi is Deputy General Secretary of the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) since 2019, he was previously the General Secretary of the Rwanda Workers’ Trade Union Confederation (CESTRAR). Eric has been involved in international discussions on Decent Work and the Future of Work, especially at the ILO.

Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo
President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo

President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017. IFAD is a UN development and international financial institution whose sole mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty among extremely poor small-scale food producers. This year IFAD aims to increase the incomes of 20 million women and men by 20 per cent.

Born and raised in Togo, Houngbo experienced first-hand the harshness of rural life among vulnerable people. It instilled in him a lifelong passion for engaging in development efforts that are transformative and sustainable. He applies his personal insights and 30 years of experience in organizational leadership, international development, financial management and diplomacy to ensure IFAD’s programmes combine community based knowledge with innovative technologies.

Houngbo also contributes to the efficacy of other organizations with missions to advance the wellbeing of vulnerable populations and the health of the planet. He is the Chair of UN-Water, which coordinates the efforts of over 30 UN entities and international organizations working on water and sanitation issues. He is also helping to shape the future of global food security and agriculture as a member of the Board of Stewards for the Food System Initiative. As a founding member of the Ambassadors Group for Generation Africa, Houngbo collaborates with other continental leaders on ways to foster support for innovative young African entrepreneurs.

Prior to his appointment as IFAD President, Houngbo was the Deputy DirectorGeneral of the International Labour Organization (ILO), where he led field operations in more than 100 countries and managed bilateral and multilateral partnerships. From 2008 to 2012, he served as Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic, where he introduced economic and social reforms leading to poverty reduction.

From 1996 to 2008, he undertook a number of roles at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including Director of Finances, Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary-General and Africa Regional Director. In addition, he led poverty alleviation programmes in 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Before this, Houngbo spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada, where he worked in audit and financial advisory services. Houngbo earned a Maîtrise en gestion des entreprises from the University of Lomé, Togo and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in Specialised Accounting from the University of Quebec, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants

Mr. Guy Ryder
Director General of the International Labour Organization
Mr. Guy Ryder

Director General of the International Labour Organization

Guy Ryder has been Director-General of the tripartite International Labour Organization since 2012.
He is committed to promoting decent work for all and to working through tripartism and social dialogue to make a positive difference in the working lives of people everywhere including and particularly in the lives of the most vulnerable.

The ILO celebrated its centenary in 2019 and Guy Ryder was instrumental in setting the Future of Work as the defining theme of the centenary to position the organization to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Subsequently, the International Labour Conference adopted the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work in 2019.

In the COVID-19 crisis, Guy Ryder has been working with the ILO’s Members and in partnership with the multilateral system and other relevant parties, to apply the principles of the Centenary Declaration in the response to the crisis as well as to the challenge of recovery.

Guy Ryder has served the ILO in various capacities. From 2006-10 he was General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), having led the unification of the democratic international trade union movement.

Mr. Máximo Torero Cullen
FAO Chief Economist
Mr. Máximo Torero Cullen

FAO Chief Economist

Mr. Maximo Torero Cullen is the Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He joined the Organization in January 2019 as Assistant Director-General for the Economic and Social Development Department. Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016 and before the Bank Mr. Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households and small farmers. His experience encompasses Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

Mr. Torero, a national of Peru, holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru. He is a professor on leave at the University of the Pacific, Perú, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany, and has also published in top journals (QJE, Econometric Theory, AER-Applied Microeconomics, RSTAT, Labor Economics and many other top journals).

Mr. Torero has received in 2000 the Georg Foster Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, won the Award for Outstanding Research on Development given by the Global Development Network, twice, in 2000 and in 2002, and received the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole in 2014.

Ms. Gerda Verburg
Coordinator at Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement
Ms. Gerda Verburg

Coordinator at Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement

Since August 2016, Gerda Verburg (NL) is serving as UN Assistant Secretary-General and Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, working with the 64 country governments that lead the SUN Movement, united with UN agencies, civil society, business and donors, in a common mission to defeat malnutrition in all its forms.

Prior to her appointment, she served as Chair of the Agenda Council for Food and Nutrition of the World Economic Forum (WEF), 2014; was elected as Chair of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS), 2013, and served as Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the United Nations Rome-based agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP) from 2011.

Ms. Verburg was elected as Chair of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 17) in 2008, following her appointment the previous year as Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands.

Ms. Katherine Richardson
Professor, Biological Oceanography Globe Institute, Leader Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen
Ms. Katherine Richardson

Professor, Biological Oceanography Globe Institute, Leader Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen

KR is a professor and leader of the Sustainability Science Centre (www.sustainability.ku.dk) at the University of Copenhagen. Her area of expertise is the importance of biological processes in the ocean for the uptake of CO2 from the atmosphere and how ocean biology, including diversity, contributes to ocean function in the Earth System. She is also co-developer of the Planetary Boundaries framework that aspires to define a “safe operating space for humanity” in terms of anthropogenic feedbacks in the Earth System and a firm believer that the “leave no one behind” objective of Agenda 2030 must be seen in the context of the bio-physical limits of Earth’s resources. KR was Chairman of the Danish Commission on Climate Change Policy that reported in 2010 and presented a roadmap for how Denmark can become independent of fossil fuels by 2050. She is at present a member of the Danish Climate Council and was a member of the 15 person Independent Group of Scientists appointed by Ban Ki Moon to draft the 2019 UN Global Sustainable Development Report.

Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano
Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UNDESA, presentation of Good Practices in the implementation of SDGs
Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano

Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UNDESA, presentation of Good Practices in the implementation of SDGs

UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Maria-Francesca Spatolisano of Italy as Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. She will succeed Thomas Gass of Switzerland, to whom the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs are grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organization. Ms. Spatolisano has 33 years of experience in public service including extensive senior leadership in multilateral affairs. She has served as the European Union Ambassador to the OECD and UNESCO, Monaco and Andorra. She was a member of the EU Delegation to the United Nations, serving as the Head of its Economic and Trade Section. She covered all issues related to trade, development and environmental policies in the Second Committee and ECOSOC and was also the EC representative to the Fifth Committee. Since 2017, she has been responsible for International Organizations and Development Dialogue with other Donors in the Commission’s Directorate General for Development Cooperation. In this capacity, she has assured the EU presence and developed EU positions on development policy in a number of international fora including the United Nations, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, OECD, G-7 and the G-20, where she represented the EU in the G-20 Development Working Group. Ms. Spatolisano holds a Doctorate in Law (cum laude) from Florence University and is fluent in Italian, English and French. She is married with two children.

Ms. Ruramiso Mashumba
Director and Founder of Mnandi Africa, Zimbabwe (Business & Industry Major Group)
Ms. Ruramiso Mashumba

Director and Founder of Mnandi Africa, Zimbabwe (Business & Industry Major Group)

Ruramiso Mashumba is a farmer and the director and founder of Mnandi Africa, an organisation that works on reducing hunger and poverty in rural livelihoods in Africa. She grows snap peas, maize, whole brown rice, sorghum, millet and gum trees in eastern Zimbabwe. In 2017 she was recognized as an Echoing Green Fellow and elected deputy of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions, and is the National Youth Chairperson for the Zimbabwe Farmers Union as well as a member of the Global Farmer Network.

Statements
Statements
Talking Point - H.E. Mr. Lassane Kabore
Talking Point - H.E. Mr. Thanawat Tiensin
Talking Point - H.E. Ms. Meryame Kitir
Talking Point - H.E. Ms. Silvana Eugenia Vargas Winstanley
Talking Point - Mr. Eric Manzi
Talking Point - Mr. Guy Ryder
Talking Point - Ms. Katherine Richardson
Talking Point - Ms. Maria Francesca Spatolisano
United Nations