Strengthening ECOSOC at its 75th anniversary for sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 and advancing the 2030 Agenda

Video on Taking Action for a More Sustainable World

The Economic and Social Council is celebrating its 75th anniversary. As the world is progressing with rebuilding and recovery efforts, 75 years after its creation, ECOSOC’s role and mandate are more relevant than ever in advancing the necessary committed global solidarity and cooperation to avoid another catastrophic event with devastating impact. The meeting will provide the space for ECOSOC to elicit from its members and observers some innovative ideas in a number of areas that could contribute to the reflection on how best to improve multilateralism in the area of sustainable development while celebrating the Council’s impact during its 75 years of existence and reflecting on maximizing its use and impact.

The further strengthening of the Council, which is being worked on by the General Assembly, is part of a larger effort to move towards a more inclusive, impactful and networked multilateralism in the area of sustainable development. The discussions will address ways to achieve this objective by introducing new dynamics and new ways of working in ECOSOC and among key UN system entities, intergovernmental and other bodies engaged in the policy dialogue and governance of sustainable development and its economic, social and environmental dimensions.

Proposed guiding questions:
  • How can the ECOSOC be better equipped to ensure that it continues to support the peoples of the world in peace, dignity and equality, building on the recent reforms introduced by the General Assembly?
  • How can we maximize the impact of the work of ECOSOC and its segments, forums and subsidiary bodies as well as its coordination role?
  • How can we evolve towards the kind of multilateralism that can better respond to existential challenges to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, such as the current pandemic or the economic and social impact of climate change?
  • What mechanisms are needed to make multilateralism more inclusive and more conducive to the policy coordination, international solidarity and delivery of global public goods?
  • What should the multilateral architecture, including ECOSOC, look like to advance transformative actions for a more resilient, greener and sustainable recovery and for long-term sustainable development?
  • How can ECOSOC offer meaningful engagement of youth and other marginalized groups to ensure that the United Nations advances a more inclusive multilateralism that would be relevant for youth and future generations?

Chair:

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

Welcoming Remarks:

  • H.E. Mr. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan

Special Remarks:

  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General

Fireside chat

Moderator:

  • Ms. Elizabeth Cousens, President and CEO of the UN Foundation

Speakers:

  • H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Ecuador, former President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
  • H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Co-Chair of FACTI Panel
  • Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
  • Mr. John Frank, Vice President for UN Affairs of Microsoft
  • Mr. Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD

Statements from Member States

Biographies
H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki
Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Co-Chair of FACTI Panel
H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki

Chief Executive Officer of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Co-Chair of FACTI Panel

Dr. Mayaki is the CEO of the NEPAD Agency, head-quartered in Midrand, South Africa. Between 1996 and 1997 he was appointed Minister in charge of African Integration and Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Niger. In November 1997, he was appointed Prime Minister of Niger, a function he held until January 2000. In August 2000, he set up the Analysis Center for Public Policy. From 2000 to 2004, Dr Mayaki was a guest Professor at the University of Paris XI, where he lectured on international relations and organizations; he also led the research at the Research Center on Europe and the Contemporary World within that university. In 2004, he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Platform in support of Rural Development in West and Central Africa, the Rural Hub, based in Dakar, Senegal, from where he was recruited as CEO of the NEPAD Agency. Dr. Mayaki was awarded the highest distinction of the State of Japan, the "Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun", by Emperor Naruhito, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting friendly relations and mutual understanding between Japan and Niger as well as Japan and the African Union. He was appointed co-chair of the UN High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI) in February 2020.

H.E. Mr. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan
H.E. Mr. Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan

Foreign Minister Qureshi has twice served as Minister for Foreign Affairs; from 2008 – 2011 and currently, since August 2018. A seasoned politician, Foreign Minister Qureshi has engaged at every echelon of politics and governance since he started his political career in 1983 from the District Council, from where he progressed to the Provincial Assembly. Foreign Minister Qureshi remained a member of the Punjab Assembly for nine years from 1985 to 1993 and has held multiple Ministerial portfolios, serving previously as Minister of Planning and Development and Minister of Finance of the Punjab. He has also served as Mayor of the city of Multan from 2000 to 2002 and has been elected 5 times as Member National Assembly from Multan in elections held in 1993, 2002, 2008, 2013 and 2018. Foreign Minister Qureshi has also served as the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in the Federal Cabinet from 1993 to 1996. As Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi envisions a foreign policy that is articulate and principled, ensuring a peaceful and prosperous neighborhood for development. He believes in the reinforcement of long-standing relationships and in making new alliances, with Pakistan pursuing a policy of partnerships for peace, security and prosperity. Born on 22 June 1956, Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi hails from Multan in Pakistan, renowned historically as the City of Saints. He traces his lineage to the great Sufi Muslim Saint, Hazrat Ghous Bahauddin Zakariya Sohrawardy Multani (RA) and represents the peace, openness and tolerance enshrined in Islam. He is an alumnus of Aitchison College, in Lahore, and a Cambridge University graduate where he studied Law & History from Corpus Christi College for a Master’s degree. Foreign Minister Qureshi is also presently Vice Chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and an avid agriculturalist.

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. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa
former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Ecuador, former President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly
H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa

former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Ecuador, former President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defense of Ecuador, former President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly

H.E. Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa is an academic, diplomat and politician with more than 30 years of professional experience in the academy, non-governmental and international organizations, and leadership positions within the Government of Ecuador. She served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage and was the first female ambassador and permanent representative of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York. She was also permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. She served as President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the fourth woman in history and the first from Latin America and the Caribbean to preside over this body since its foundation in 1945. She is recipient of numerous scholarships and acknowledgements from the Latin American Studies Association, the Ford Foundation, the Society of Woman Geographers, the Rockefeller Foundation, the German Agency for Cooperation, for her research and academic work about the Amazon, and her work in the Amazon on biodiversity, the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples. Before beginning her political and diplomatic career, Ms Espinosa was the regional director for South America of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN as well as was Associate Professor and Researcher at the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences, FLACSO, where she established and coordinated the Program on Socio-Environmental Studies. She has written over 30 academic articles about the Amazon region, culture, heritage, sustainable development, climate change, intellectual property, foreign policy, regional integration, defense, and security. Ms. Espinosa has produced several works of poetry that included an award from the National Poetry Prize of Ecuador in 1990.

Mr. Jeffrey Schlagenhauf
Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Mr. Jeffrey Schlagenhauf

Deputy Secretary-General, OECD

Mr. Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, an American national, took up his duties as a Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD at the beginning of May 2019. Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. Schlagenhauf served as the White House’s Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Associate Director for Economic Policy. Before joining the White House Budget Office, Mr Schlagenhauf worked in the public policy arena for nearly four decades. He served for more than a decade as a senior staff member of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, including serving as the committee’s Executive Director and Republican Staff Director. Mr. Schlagenhauf also served as a senior staff member in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. John Frank
Vice President for UN Affairs of Microsoft
Mr. John Frank

Vice President for UN Affairs of Microsoft

In this role, Mr. Frank focuses on advancing multistakeholder solutions towards a more accessible and equitable digital environment, a healthier planet as well as opportunities for computer and data sciences to help the UN and its agencies. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Frank led Microsoft’s European government affairs teams in Brussels and European national capitals on EU issues, especially legal frameworks for cloud computing in areas such as cybersecurity, AI ethics, lawful access and privacy. From 2002 to 2015 he served as Deputy General Counsel and Chief of Staff for Microsoft President Brad Smith. In this role, he led the digital trust and security group, including the law enforcement and national security team, the digital crimes unit, the industry affairs group and the competition law, privacy and government contract compliance teams.  From 1996 to 2002, Mr Frank led Microsoft’s legal and corporate affairs group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, based in Paris. Prior to joining Microsoft, Mr Frank practiced law in San Francisco with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. John received his AB degree from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs and his JD from Columbia Law School.

Ms. Amina Mohammed
UN Deputy Secretary-General
Ms. Amina Mohammed

UN Deputy Secretary-General

Ms. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment. Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to four successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development.

Ms. Elizabeth Cousens
President and CEO of the UN Foundation
Ms. Elizabeth Cousens

President and CEO of the UN Foundation

Ms. Cousens became the UN Foundation’s third President and Chief Executive Officer in 2020, leading the Foundation’s next generation of work to support the United Nations. Before joining the Foundation, Ms. Cousens served for several years at the US Mission to the UN in New York, as US Ambassador the UN Economic and Social council and Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly as well as as principal policy advisor and counselor to the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN.

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake
Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake

Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. She is the youngest senior official in the UN and the first woman to hold this position. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General.

In November 2019 Jayathma was recognized by Time Magazine in the list of “Time 100 Next: Rising stars shaping the future”

Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country.

Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.

Statements
Statements
Statement - ECE Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism
Statement - NGO Major Group
United Nations