Opening of the High-level Segment of ECOSOC / Ministerial Segment of HLPF
General Assembly Hall

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Munir Akram (Pakistan), President of Economic and Social Council

Opening remarks:

  • H.E. Mr. Munir Akram (Pakistan), President of Economic and Social Council
  • Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly

Keynote:

  • H.E. Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia
  • H.E. Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco, Vice President of Colombia
  • H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria

Youth representatives (messages on behalf of youth):

  • Mr. Steve Lee, Organizing Partner for the Major Group on Children and Youth
  • Ms. Melati Wijsen, Co-Founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags and YouthTopia
Biographies
H.E. Mr. António Guterres
Secretary-General, United Nations
H.E. Mr. António Guterres

Secretary-General, United Nations

António Guterres, the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, took office on 1st January 2017.

Having witnessed the suffering of the most vulnerable people on earth, in refugee camps and in war zones, the Secretary-General is determined to make human dignity the core of his work, and to serve as a peace broker, a bridge-builder and a promoter of reform and innovation.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world’s foremost humanitarian organizations during some of the most serious displacement crises in decades. The conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and the crises in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Yemen, led to a huge rise in UNHCR’s activities as the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution rose from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015.

Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service. He served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, during which time he was heavily involved in the international effort to resolve the crisis in East Timor.

As president of the European Council in early 2000, he led the adoption of the Lisbon Agenda for growth and jobs, and co-chaired the first European Union-Africa summit. He was a member of the Portuguese Council of State from 1991 to 2002.

Mr. Guterres was elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1976 where he served as a member for 17 years. During that time, he chaired the Parliamentary Committee for Economy, Finance and Planning, and later the Parliamentary Committee for Territorial Administration, Municipalities and Environment. He was also leader of his party’s parliamentary group.

From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Guterres was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he chaired the Committee on Demography, Migration and Refugees.

For many years Mr. Guterres was active in the Socialist International, a worldwide organization of social democratic political parties. He was the group’s vice-president from 1992 to 1999, co-chairing the African Committee and later the Development Committee. He served as President from 1999 until mid-2005. In addition, he founded the Portuguese Refugee Council as well as the Portuguese Consumers Association DECO, and served as president of the Centro de Acção Social Universitário, an association carrying out social development projects in poor neighbourhoods of Lisbon, in the early 1970s.

Mr. Guterres is a member of the Club of Madrid, a leadership alliance of democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world.

Mr. Guterres was born in Lisbon in 1949 and graduated from the Instituto Superior Técnico with a degree in engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. He is married to Catarina de Almeida Vaz Pinto, Deputy Mayor for Culture of Lisbon, and has two children, a stepson and three grandchildren.

H.E. Mr. Imran Khan
Prime Minister of Pakistan
H.E. Mr. Imran Khan

Prime Minister of Pakistan

H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Born in Surakarta, Central Java on 21 June 1961, H.E. Ir. H. Joko Widodo, or popularly known as Jokowi, received his entire education from the public schooling system. He graduated from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in forestry, then he went to set up his own family business until 2005 when he successfully became the Mayor of his beloved birthplace.

In 2012, H.E. Ir. H. Joko Widodo elected as the Jakarta’s Governor. As Governor of the country's capital city, with his signature activities of blusukan (impromptu visit) he remained very close to the people, always advancing reformist agendas aimed at cultivating good governance and improving the livelihoods of the people.

On 20 October 2014, H.E. Ir H. Joko Widodo was sworn in as the 7th President of the Republic of Indonesia and serves as the leader of the world's largest archipelagic state, largest Muslim population yet pluralist country, and 3rd largest democracy.

H.E. Ir. H. Joko Widodo is married to Iriana Joko Widodo. Together they have two sons, a daughter and already have four grandchildren. ***

H.E. Mr. Munir Akram
President of Economic and Social Council
H.E. Mr. Munir Akram

President of Economic and Social Council

His Excellency Munir Akram was elected seventy-sixth President of the Economic and Social Council on 23 July 2020. Ambassador Akram is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York. Ambassador Akram assumed his position as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, on November 1, 2019.

Ambassador Munir Akram previously served as Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York for six years between 2002 and 2008, after serving as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva for seven years from 1995 to 2002.

Between 1988 and 1992, Munir Akram was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the European Council, Belgium and Luxemburg.

During his term at the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram served twice as President of the Security Council in May 2003 and in May 2004; President of the Economic and Social Council in 2005; Chairman of the Group of 77 and China (developing countries) in 2007, and Facilitator on UN Administrative Reform in 2006.

Among the positions he held in various intergovernmental organizations were: Member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament; Chairman of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body; President of the Conference on Disarmament (June 1996).

Ambassador Akram joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1967, holding various positions in the Foreign Ministry as Additional Foreign Secretary and Director-General dealing with the United Nations.

He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Karachi. He is a prolific writer and has lectured and published several articles and papers on various strategic, political and economic issues.

In recognition of his selfless service and outstanding performance in the field of diplomacy and foreign policy, he was conferred the Award of Hilal-i-Quaid-e-Azam by the President of Pakistan.

H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz
Chancellor of Austria
H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz

Chancellor of Austria

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz


Since 7 January 2020
Federal Chancellor of Austria


23 October 2019 - 7 January 2020
Leader of the Austrian People's Party's parliamentary group


1 July 2018 – 31 December 2018
Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union


18 December 2017 – 28 May 2019
Federal Chancellor of Austria


Since 1 July 2017
Federal Chairman of the Austrian People's Party


2017
Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE  


2015 - 2018
Chairman of the Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party


2014 - 2017
Co-Chair of the European People's Party Foreign Ministers Meeting


December 2013 - 2017
Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs


2011 - 2013
State Secretary for Integration, Federal Ministry of the Interior


2009 - 2017
Federal Chairman of the Young Austrian People's Party


2008 - 2011
Provincial Chairman of the Young Austrian People's Party Vienna

H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir
President of the General Assembly
H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir

President of the General Assembly

On 17 June 2020, the General Assembly of the United Nations elected H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir of Turkey as President of its seventy-fifth session, which runs from September 2020 to September 2021.

After graduating with a degree in law from Ankara University, Mr. Bozkir joined his country’s foreign service in 1972. He held several positions during his 39-year career there, including: Permanent Representative of Turkey to the European Union (EU); Ambassador to Romania; Consul General in New York; Counsellor of the Permanent Representation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); First Secretary of the Embassy in Iraq; and Vice Consul General in Stuttgart. He also served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Turgut Özal; Chief of Cabinet and Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to Presidents Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel; Deputy Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for EU Affairs; Secretary General for EU Affairs.

Mr. Bozkir was elected as a Member of Parliament first in 2011 and then in the following three parliamentary elections. During his nine years in Parliament, he served as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Turkey-USA Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Caucus and Co-Chairman of the Turkish-Russian Civic Forum. He also served as the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator from 2014 until 2016. In 2018, he was elected for the fourth time as the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, during which time he chaired the Turkey-Australia Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group.

Mr. Bozkir was awarded the Order of the Star of Romania; the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic with the rank of “Knight”; and the 100th Anniversary Medal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He is married with two children and three granddaughters.

H.E. Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco
Vice President of Colombia
H.E. Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco

Vice President of Colombia

The Vice president and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, has more than 35 years of experience in the fields of business development, commerce, international negotiations, foreign investment, security, democracy, governance, and regional development.

Throughout her career, she has been concerned with fighting corruption, promoting security, creating jobs, enhancing competitiveness, strengthening the judiciary, and promoting public policies that ensure women’s political, social, and economic empowerment.

Ramírez was the Conservative Party’s presidential candidate for the 2014 Presidential Elections, obtaining the third largest share of the votes. Since August 7th, 2018, she became the first woman to occupy the Vice presidency in the history of Colombia.

As Vice president, she has focused on transparency, fighting corruption, gender equity, infrastructure, transport, and economic growth. Furthermore, she is responsible for the promotion of science, technology, and innovation, as well as advising the President on issues regarding competitiveness and business development. She presides over the Colombian Ocean Commission and the Colombian Space Commission.

Simultaneously, the Vice president serves as Foreign Minister. In this capacity, she deepens actions to position Colombia as a world referent, building bridges to strengthen the country’s institutions, close social gaps and promote democracy.

Marta Lucía Ramírez began her public life at the Banking Superintendence and was thereafter appointed as Director of the Colombian Institute for Foreign Trade -INCOMEX-. She served as Colombia’s Minister of Commerce in 1998. During her tenure, she led the Group of Young Exporting Entrepreneurs. In 2002, she served as Colombian Ambassador to France and was subsequently appointed as Minister of Defense. As the first and only woman to have served in that capacity, she created the Armed Forces’ School of Human Rights and promoted women in service, allowing them to reach the rank of general for the first time.

In 2006, Ramírez was elected to the Senate with over 70,000 votes. She chaired the Senate’s Second Commission on foreign relations and defense. During her tenure, she led the creation of the Borders Committee, a special body to monitor, develop, and promote Colombia’s border regions.

Ramírez studied Law at Javeriana University and specialized in Commercial and Financial Law. She did studies in High Business Direction at the INALDE Business School of La Sabana University and was an international relations fellow at Harvard University. She has also been a law professor at Los Andes and Javeriana Universities. She is married to Mr. Álvaro Rincón, with whom she has a daughter: María Alejandra Rincón Ramírez.

Statements
Statements
Opening Remarks - H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres
Opening Remarks - H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir
Statement - H.E. Mr. Imran Khan
Statement - H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo
Statement - H.E. Ms. Marta Lucía Ramírez Blanco
Statement - H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz
United Nations