The 67th UN DPI/NGO Conference Roundatables                                        
22 August 2018 

1. Women and Girls Mobilizing | 11:45 A.M. - 1 P.M. | CR 4
2. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 | 11:45 A.M. - 1 P.M. | CR 3 
3. A Repositioned UN Development System | 11:45 A.M. - 1 P.M. | CR 1
4. Youth: Today’s Leaders | 4:30 - 6 P.M. | CR 1
5. Shared Planet, Shared Prosperity | 4:30 - 6 P.M. | CR 3
6. Towards UN-75: Making the Case for Multilateralism | 4:30 - 6 P.M. | CR 4

Roundtable 1: Women and Girls Mobilizing  [Watch online]

In his report titled 'Repositioning the UN Development System to Deliver on the 2030 Agenda', United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted that global investment in gender equality and women's empowerment remains insufficient.

Today, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global movement for women’s and girls’ rights, equality and safety. How can the unwavering voices of women harmonize their calls to achieve equal opportunities and stronger accountability.

This Roundtable will:

  • Identify innovative mechanisms to expand access to education and employment for women and girls;
  • Outline the steps to advance the rights of women and girls in preparation for the 25th anniversary of the 1995 World Conference on Women;
  • Share examples of transformational leadership strategies for women across the SDGs; and
  • Assess the representation of women in key positions and policy discussions and determine the critical systemic changes needed to increase their numbers.


Ms. Lopa Banerjee 
Director, Civil Society Section, UN Women 


Dr. Djibril Diallo
President and CEO, African Renaissance and Diaspora Network 

Ms. Katja Iversen
President and CEO, Women Deliver 

Ms. Haydee Rodriguez
Latin American Regional Representative,  Governing Council of Huairou Commission

Ms. Njoki Njehu
Director, Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center​

Ms. Emele Duituturaga 
Executive Director, Pacific Islands Association of NGOs

Roundtable 2: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70  [Watch online]

Strengthening human rights through powerful institutions which are held accountable, by civil society and others, is necessary to achieve Agenda 2030. Growing authoritarianism is threatening civil and political rights.  Meanwhile, half the world’s poor people are living in fragile and conflict affected countries.

According to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, denials of human rights are both a cause and a consequence of multiple, interrelated fractures that are breaking down our societies including: conflicts, inequality, deprivation, violent extremism, repression, and discrimination.  There is also an increase in efforts to curtail democratic and participatory practices. An example of this trend is increased restrictions on the rights of migrants — including refugees and people displaced by conflict and climate change. 

This Roundtable will:

  • Make the case for a UN development system more strongly centered on human rights and in closer partnership with civil society;
  • Address the strengths and weaknesses of the human rights agenda in conflict settings and its implications for development;
  • Discuss transnational approaches to address the violation of human rights suffered by vulnerable groups including on the basis of religion, nationality, or migration status; and
  • Determine how the UN can most effectively support youth-led and other NGO led initiatives to advance human rights, especially in areas prone to conflict or repression.


Mr. Craig Mokhiber 
Director, New York Office, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Ms. Olajobi Makinwa
Chief, Intergovernmental Relations and Africa, Global Compact 

Mr. Roberto Borrero (Taíno) 
International Mechanisms Director, US Human Rights Network ​

Ms. Antje Kraft
Justice and Human Rights Policy Specialist, Rule of Law, Justice, Security and Human Rights Team, United Nations Development Programme

Roundtable 3A Repositioned UN Development System  [Watch online]

With A/RES/72/279, United Nations’ Member States welcomed a revitalized, strategic, flexible and results-oriented United Nations Development Assistance Framework, [UNDAF] as the most important instrument for planning and implementation of the United Nations development activities in each country in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This roundtable explores the opportunities this repositioning presents for closer partnership between the UN and civil society across policymaking and programme design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and, crucially, financing.  It will explore domestic resource mobilization, together with international financial aid and private finance opportunities available to help achieve the SDGs.

This Roundtable will:

  • Discuss the roles of the United Nations as: 
    • a convener of partnerships and dialogue between civil society, the private sector, and member states;
    • a protector of civil society legal, physical and other spaces and a supporter of social movements for the global good; and
    • a forum for Member State and private sector accountability;
  • Explore the existing and needed commitments around international and domestic resource mobilization, fiscal justice, development and South-South cooperation, along with sound fiscal mechanisms to manage debt problems globally;
  • Discuss how a repositioned UN system can help rectify policies that have deepened structural inequality and potentially undermined economic, social, and environmental rights;
  • Explore ways in which the UNDAF can create an enabling environment for local NGO leadership in development and humanitarian programs.


Ms. Susan Modaress
United Nations Diplomatic Correspondent and Commentator, United Nations Correspondents Association


Mr. Humphrey Nabimanya
Founder, Reach a Hand Uganda

Mr. Robert Piper 
Head of UN Repositioned Development  System Transition Team ​

Mr. Mandeep Tiwana
Chief Programmes Officer, CIVICUS

Ms. Rosemary Kalapurakal 
Director, Sustainable Development, Lead Advisor, 2030 Agenda, United Nations Development Programme

Roundtable 4: Youth: Today's Leaders   [Watch online]

Half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are under the age of 30. Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were created based on the assumption that “Youth are the future of sustainable development.”
Their needs and challenges, however, are often not adequately addressed on regional, national or global levels. To remedy this situation, the UN is committed to working with and for young people, to uphold their rights by methods including promoting structured mechanisms for youth participation.

At the same time, youth are widely recognized as having an equal place among the leaders of today.  Youth are leading groundbreaking social movements to build peace, combat climate change, control small arms, advance gender justice, and achieve other public policy goals integral to the SDGs.

This Roundtable will:

  • Share innovative youth campaigns on issues in which they are uniquely positioned stakeholders;
  • Provide examples of how youth bring vitality to advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goals, through youth-led organizations; use of new media tools; and information and communication technologies; and
  • Explore ways in which broader civil society should seek to support, connect to, and adopt best practices of youth-led social movements.


Mr. Dejan Bojanic 
Vice President, European Youth Forum


Mr. Prince Gideon Olanrewaju
Founder/CEO, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative 

Mr. Kamran Elahian 
Founder/Chairman, Global Innovation Catalyst LLC

Ms. Toya Montoya 
Model and Social Entrepreneur 

Ms. Alexandria Bramel 
Partnership Manager, JeeFoods ​

Ms. Nancy A. Henkin 
Senior Fellow, Generations United ​

Roundtable 5Shared Planet, Shared Prosperity   [Watch online]

Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals balance the three pillars of development:  social; economic; and, environmental – and acknowledge their interdependence.  Shared prosperity can emerge more robustly through a mindset of entrepreneurial stewardship, where people and nature are valued based upon cultural knowledge systems; science; and a shared commitment to sustainability, social justice, and human rights.

Practices defined by a circular economy, climate mitigation and resiliency, water and food security, green cities and a variety of other economic and other cultural innovations can permit significant improvements in quality of life without compromising the prosperity of future generations.

This Roundtable will:

  • Discuss the links between inequality and sustainable natural resource use;
  • Explore progress made to date, and further institutional and cultural changes necessary to achieve a paradigm shift towards environmental sustainability;
  • Propose what the UN system and other developmental institutions can do to help give greater voice to representatives of the most vulnerable communities.


Mr. Maher Nasser
Director, Outreach Division, DPI​


Mr. Isaac Reshad
Managing Director, Global Access Partner​

Ms. Hunter Lovins 
President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions​ ​

Mr. Seongbae Lim  
Professor, St. Mary's University 

Ms. Devopriya Dutta
Youth Representative, Tarumitra ​ ​

Mx. Sean Estelle
National Network Coordinator, Powershift​

Roundtable 6Towards UN-75: Making the Case for Multilateralism  [Watch online]

'We the Peoples’… with this simple introduction, the United Nations Charter lays out an ambitious and noble mandate. The impetus for creating such an Organization came from an understanding, after two world wars, that a global framework for working together was essential to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic suffering. Yet today, skepticism is rising worldwide about the value of multilateralism and the United Nations faces the challenge of remaining relevant and effective. Secretary-General António Guterres recognized this when he took office, declaring: “We need to re-assert the value of multilateralism; only global solutions can address global problems.”

This Roundtable will:

  • Discuss the current role and future potential of the UN to deliver on its mandate of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development given key global challenges and mega-trends including migration, natural resource depletion and climate change and increasing inequalities;
  • Explore how closer partnership with civil society can enable a more people-centered multilateralism with the UN to advance global goals;
  • Explore how to effectively communicate the value of multilateralism to stakeholders including governments, civil society and the private sector, to re-build robust support for it.


Mr. Ramu Damodaran 
Chief, United Nations Academic Impact, Outreach Division, Department of Public Information


H.E. Ambassador Park Chull-Joo 
Deputy Permanent Representative, Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations ​

Ms. Laura Lindenfeld 
Director, Alda Center for Communications ​

Mr. William Pace 
Executive Director, World Federalist Movement 

H.E. Ambassador Henry MacDonald 
President, World Development Foundation ​

Ms. Natalie Samarasinghe 
Executive Director, UNA-UK ​

 Full List of Speakers Biographies