Vision and priorities of civil society, the private sector and other major groups and stakeholders: realizing the SDGs during the COVID-19 recovery
Friday, 9 July 2021
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Virtually (held New York time)

Official meeting

Statements
Statements

Major groups and other stakeholders were integral to the development and adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In light of the critical role that they played, the United Nations General Assembly established ambitious modalities for their participation at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), as outlined in A/RES/67/290 and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development A/RES/70/1. Since then, the major groups and other stakeholders have worked tirelessly towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through their regular activities and by spear-heading projects and initiatives; highlighting issues through advocacy; knowledge-sharing; and by monitoring progress. There is no question that major groups and other stakeholder are, and will continue to be, crucial to the successful implementation, follow-up, and review of the 2030 Agenda.   

In preparation for the 2021 HLPF, major groups and other stakeholders have contributed to review processes at all levels, through the Regional Forums on Sustainable Development as well as through national review mechanisms. This session, organised in collaboration with the ‘HLPF Coordination Mechanism of the Major Groups and other Stakeholders’ (MGoS-CM), will provide an opportunity for local, national, and regional voices to be heard on an international platform. Civil society, the private sector, and other major groups and stakeholders will have an opportunity to highlight their vision and priorities in realizing the SDGs during the COVID-19 recovery.  

As we approach the 2021 HLPF, the world  faces crisis after crisis, while still battling with the devastating effects that the global pandemic has had on people and societies. Ensuring civic participation is now proving to be more challenging than ever. Major groups and other stakeholders believe that it is essential to openly discuss effective ways to strengthen meaningful participation in official spaces with Member States and other actors. In particular, it is important to open channels of dialogue about processes and platforms facilitated by the United Nations. While decisions are being made for people, planet, and prosperity it is important to consider the mandates which guarantee the meaningful participation of non-state actors as part of the process.  

The session will explore the vision and priorities of major groups and other stakeholders on how to advance an inclusive pathway to recovery, as well as possible reforms which strengthen the realization of political and social rights, so as not to leave anyone behind.  The discussion will intersect and cross-fertilize other crucial agendas, such as those relating to gender equality, the fulfilment of human rights, and the removal of systemic barriers to socio-economic transformation. The discussion will re-affirm the holistic integrity of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, while also exposing the critical potential of Regional Forums, to better connect regional and global levels policy-making.  

Guiding questions: 

  • What are the broader impacts of the shrinking of civil space during the pandemic in the overall implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and their human rights dimensions? 
  • What challenges are faced by the plurality of actors in the civic space, in the context of the pandemic and post-recovery, with regard to the right to meaningful participation in global, regional and national agendas? 
  • What are the collective commitments needed at all levels to ensure an inclusive and plural process for the implementation, monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, with the aim to overcome systemic barriers and ensure gender equality, intersectionality and a holistic approach bearing in mind crosscutting issues?

Chair

  • H.E. Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea, (Mexico), Vice President of ECOSOC  

Opening Remarks:

  • Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under Secretary-General, UN DESA

Interactive discussion

Moderator:  

  • Dr. Mabel Bianco, Co-Chair, Major Groups and other Stakeholders (MGoS) Coordination Mechanism & Women’s Major Group 

Panelists/ Resource Persons: 

  • Ms. Ruth Warick, Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities
  • Dr. Kiran Rabheru, Stakeholder Group on Ageing
  • Ms. Mariah Rafaella Silva, LGBTI Stakeholder Group
  • Ms. Joan Carling, Indigenous Peoples Major Group & Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism 

Ministerial Respondents/ High-level Respondents  

  • Mr. Sami Pirkkala, Secretary General, National Commission on Sustainable Development / Prime Minister's Office, Finland
  • Mr. Volker Türk, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, EOSG
  • Dr. Nadine Gasman, President of the National Women's Institute, Mexico 
  • Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Chair, UN Committee of Experts on Public Administration 
Biographies
Dr. Kiran Rabheru
Stakeholder Group on Ageing
Dr. Kiran Rabheru

Stakeholder Group on Ageing

Dr. Kiran Rabheru is a Full Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa and Geriatric Psychiatrist at The Ottawa Hospital. He obtained his medical degree (MD) from University of Western Ontario. He is board certified in Family Medicine in Canada. He is also board certified in Psychiatry and a subspecialist in Geriatric Psychiatry in both Canada and the United States. Dr. Rabheru is passionate and committed to serving older persons and is recognized nationally and internationally for his work. He is designated as a Founder of the subspecialty of Geriatric Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and a recipient of the Outstanding Achievements in Geriatric Psychiatry in Canada award by the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Mabel Bianco
Co-Chair, HLPF MGoS Coordination Mechanism and Women’s Major Group
Dr. Mabel Bianco

Co-Chair, HLPF MGoS Coordination Mechanism and Women’s Major Group

Mabel Bianco is a feminist medical doctor, MPH, and a specialist in Epidemiology and Medical Statics. President and Founder of FEIM, an NGO working to improve women’s rights since 1989. Researcher from Centre for Research Physical Resources in Health, School of Architecture UBA. Co-coordinator of WomenWon’tWait, global campaign to eliminate VAW/HIV. Coordinator of International Women AIDS Caucus. Director of LAC Women Health Network (1991/99). Chief of HIV/AIDS National Program in MOH and Coordinator of HIV/aids WB Project. Member of the Buenos Aires Strategic Planning Council since 1996. UNAIDS Reference group on HIV/HR Member (2002/11). Twice elected as NGO Member UNAIDS PCB. Member Civil Society Regional Advisory Committee UN Women till 2016. Co-Chair CoNGO CSW LAC since 2012. Women’s Major Group member since 2014. Awarded by Argentinian MOH, Women Deliver, Newsweek as one of the 150 women moved the world, NGO CSW NY as Distinguished Woman of the Year (2017) and BBC’s as one of 100 inspiring/influential women (2019). Author of 10 books and more than 150 articles. Coordinator of Women’s Human Rights Defenders for G20 Observatory’s and Head of W20 Argentinian Delegation since 2018. WMG Organizing Partner LAC Elected (2019/20).

Dr. Nadine Gasman
President of the National Women's Institute, Mexico
Dr. Nadine Gasman

President of the National Women's Institute, Mexico

Nadine Gasman is president of the National Institute for Women. Doctor in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, Master in Public Health from Harvard University and surgeon by La Salle University and the National Autonomous University in Mexico. She has an outstanding, broad and solid professional career spanning more than three decades (both nationally and internationally) in the areas of strategy, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public policies, programs and projects, mainly in the public health sector, with an emphasis in sexual and reproductive health, as well as in initiatives and policies promoting gender equality, prevention of violence against women and economic and political empowerment of women. Her long-standing track record also includes extensive work in the academic and social fields, with direct field-work, where she has led participatory and inclusive processes aimed at promoting the empowerment of women, as well as to develop policies to strengthen institutional and innovative initiatives with a gender, human rights and intercultural perspective, in which she has also managed to involve and mobilize various actors (governments, civil society, international organizations and the private sector), to provide coordinated and effective responses to meet the needs of girls and women, mainly those who are in conditions of greater vulnerability. As an international official she was a Representative of UN Women in Brazil from 2013 to February 2019 and Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Guatemala from 2005 to 2010, a body in which she promoted policies and initiatives on migration, reproductive health, new masculinities, sexual violence and empowerment of women teenagers. From 2010 to 2013, she was Director of the General Secretary's Campaign JOIN to End Violence Against Women for Latin America and the Caribbean, in which she managed to mobilize different sectors andactors from all countries in the region, obtaining as main results: i) the strategy for Access to Justice for Women; ii) placing the problem of femicide in public debate and getting 17 countries in the region to codify this crime; iii) the creation of the “Model Protocol for the investigation of the violent murder of women. Femicide /feminicide ”, and iv) promoting the development of national plans comprehensive measures to end violence against women and girls. She has also conducted multiple consultations for the World Health Organization, the Pan American Organization for Health, the World Bank, the International Development Agency the United States, the Latin American Economic System, the Swedish and Danish Agencies for International Cooperation and the European Commission. In Mexico she worked in the research area of the National Institute of Public Health and was Advisor to the National Council of Vaccination of the Secretary of Health. Dr. Nadine Gasman has more than twenty academic publications. Her mother tongue is Spanish; In addition, she speaks English, French and Portuguese.

H.E. Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea
DPR of Mexico Mission, Vice President of ECOSOC and Former Co-Chair of the STI Forum
H.E. Mr. Juan Sandoval Mendiolea

DPR of Mexico Mission, Vice President of ECOSOC and Former Co-Chair of the STI Forum

Ambassador Juan Sandoval-Mendiolea has been Deputy Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations since February 2015. He was appointed co/chair of the Science Technology and Innovation Forum by the President of ECOIOC in December 2017. He was a co-chair with Japan for the 2018 STI Forum. Prior to this assignment, he served as Director General for United Nations Affairs. In this capacity, he was promoted to the rank of Ambassador of Mexico in October 2014.

Ambassador Sandoval served as Legal and Human Rights Counselor at the Mexican Embassy in France, and as Deputy and Interim Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) from 2001 until 2006, where he oversaw legal issues and hemispheric security, including drug enforcement, transnational organized crime, terrorism and corruption. In the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has also been Deputy Director General of the Directorate for Inter-American Regional Organisms and Mechanisms (2006-2007), and during this time he also served as Deputy National Organizer of Summits. He was Director of Cabinet of the Under-Secretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights from 2007 until 2013. He led the process for Mexico’s admission to the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group and the Nuclear Supplier's Group.

Mr. Liu Zhenmin
Under-Secretary-General
Mr. Liu Zhenmin

Under-Secretary-General

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. Sami Pirkkala
Secretary General, National Commission on Sustainable Development / Prime Minister's Office, Finland
Mr. Sami Pirkkala

Secretary General, National Commission on Sustainable Development / Prime Minister's Office, Finland

Sami Pirkkala is the Secretary General of the National Commission on Sustainable Development at the Prime Minister's Office in Finland. His key responsibilities relate to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Finland and to the engagement of the whole of society in sustainability work. He is also one of the Vice Chairs of the European Sustainable Development Network, ESDN. The National Commission on Sustainable Development is a forum that brings together key stakeholders of Finnish society. The Commission has been functioning since 1993, chaired by the Prime Minister. The main task of the Commission is to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Finland. The Commission aims at securing human wellbeing within planetary boundaries by placing sustainable development at the heart of decision-making and policy. The aim is also to involve society as a whole in the implementation of sustainable development and to promote the interaction, dialogue and networking of different actors. The Commission includes representatives from ministries, Parliament, the Sámi Parliament, the Åland Regional Government, municipalities and regions, other public administration, business, trade unions, organisations, church, science and research.

Mr. Volker Türk
Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, EOSG
Mr. Volker Türk

Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, EOSG

Volker Türk is currently Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Mr Türk ensures coherence in the strategic analysis provided to the Secretary-General and conducts system-wide coordination, including by chairing the Deputies Committee and serving as Secretary to the Executive Committee and the Senior Management Group. Prior to joining the Executive Office, he served as Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. He led UNHCR’s global protection activities and oversaw the development and implementation of protection and solutions policy with governments and other actors and in UNHCR’s operations around the world, including the Global Compact on Refugees. From April 2008 to September 2009 he was Director for Organizational Development and Management in Geneva, leading UNHCR’s structural and management change process. Before that he had a number of UNHCR assignments in various parts of the world, including in Malaysia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, DRC and Kuwait. From 2000 to 2004 he was Chief of the Protection Policy and Legal Advice Section in Geneva, which had particular responsibilities for the Global Consultations process. Before his time with UNHCR, he worked as university assistant at the Institute of International Law at the University of Vienna in Austria, where he finished his doctoral thesis on UNHCR and its mandate. From 1985 to 1988, he was research assistant at the Institute of Criminal Law at the University of Linz. He has published widely on international refugee and human rights law.

Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi
former Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa, Chair of Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)
Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

former Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa, Chair of Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA)

Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-Moleketi is the Chancellor of Nelson Mandela University. She was the former Special Envoy on Gender at the African Development Bank. In this role, she led a strategy to mainstream gender in the Bank’s policies and operations, making the Bank a reference institution on gender equality in Africa. She was previously Director of the Democratic Governance Group of the United Nations Development Programme, with activities in more than 170 countries, supported from six regional service centres. She served in the South African Government as Minister of Public Service and Administration for two consecutive terms. As Minister, she led the development of a senior management service within the South African public service; oversaw a comprehensive review of the public service remuneration system; revitalized the “Batho Pele” strategy within the public service; and established the Government Employees Medical Scheme and Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy. She also served as Chair of the Pan African Ministers of Public Service for three consecutive terms and has worked on intergovernmental bodies globally and in Africa. While Minister for Public Service and Administration, she served as a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration. As Minister for Welfare and Population Development in the first democratic Government of South Africa, she introduced the Government’s white papers on social welfare (1997) and on population policy (1998) in the Parliament, worked on the development and implementation of the Child Support Grant and chaired the Ministerial Team on Children and Youth at Risk. She served as Deputy Minister of Welfare and coordinated the country’s preparations for the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995. Ms. Fraser-Moleketi also served as Deputy Leader of the South African delegation to the Conference and represented South Africa at the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995. In addition, she served as member of the South African Parliament for three consecutive terms, from 1994 until her resignation in September 2008, and was a member of the Constituent Assembly and various subcommittees responsible for drawing up the South African Constitution adopted on 8 May 1996. She served on the Management Committee of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa and was Deputy National Coordinator of the National Elections Commission of the African National Congress in preparation for the country’s first democratic elections. Mrs. Fraser-Moleketi serves on various boards across academia, government and development organizations on issues related to youth, the empowerment of women, capacity development and education, governance and poverty eradication. She also serves as non-executive director on the boards of listed companies. She is a fellow of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Administration. Mrs. Fraser-Moleketi was named 2016 New African Woman of the Year and was conferred a Doctorate of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Ms. Joan Carling
Indigenous Persons’ Major Group and Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
Ms. Joan Carling

Indigenous Persons’ Major Group and Asia-Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism

Joan Carling is an indigenous activist from the Cordillera, Philippines. She has been working on indigenous issues at the grassroots to international levels for more than 20 years. Her field of expertise includes human rights, sustainable development, environment, and climate change, as well as on the principles and application of Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). She was the Secretary General of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) – a coalition of 50 indigenous organizations across Asia, from 2008 to 2016. Ms. Carling was appointed by the UN ECOSOC as an expert- member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFii) for 2014-16. She is currently the co-convenor of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Group (IPMG) for Sustainable Development and works directly with indigenous organizations and networks across the globe.

In September 2018 she received the Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award from the United Nations Environment Programme in recognition of her work as an environmentalist and a defender of human rights.

Ms. Mariah Rafaella Silva
LGBTI Stakeholder Group
Ms. Mariah Rafaella Silva

LGBTI Stakeholder Group

Mariah Rafaela is a black trans human rights activist. She was an advisor to the Association of Travestis and Transsexuals of Rio de Janeiro and a representative on the LGBT State Council for the promotion of human rights. Mariah has a degree in art history, a master's degree in humanities and a doctoral researcher in communication. Mariah is an important representative and activist for the rights of transsexual, black and favela people in Brazil, with a background of more than ten years in social activism. Her work and social engagement made her travel the planet in promoting the rights of trans people, having received an honorary title by the City Council of the City of Rio de Janeiro in 2015. Currently, in addition to being a part time professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Mariah is a member of the Grupo Conexão G for LGBT Citizenship in Favelas, which is a non-profit civil society organization, founded by a group of young trans people in March 2006, in Nova Holanda, in the Complex of Favelas Maré.

Ms. Ruth Warick
Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities
Ms. Ruth Warick

Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities

Ms. Ruth Warick is the President of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Persons and a founding member of the national hard of hearing association in Canada. She represents IFHOH on the International Disability Alliance and serves as IDA’s First Vice-President. She was an active member of the IDA Inclusive Education Flagship. She has 25 years of experience as a university disability services advisor and has a doctoral degree in education; her dissertation was titled Voices Unheard: The Academic and Social Experiences of University Students who are Hard of Hearing. Recently she edited IFHOH report on inclusive education in Uganda and Nepal.  

Statements
Statements
Opening Remarks - Mr. Liu Zhenmin
United Nations