The President of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, will share his priorities and perspectives for the 76th Session and civil society engagement during the Civil Society Townhall Meeting jointly organized by the President of the General Assembly and the Civil Society Unit, UN Department of Global Communications. The Town Hall Meeting will be held in-person in the General Assembly Hall, UN Headquarters, New York. The meeting will also be webcast live on UN WebTV.

17 November 2021

3 - 5 p.m. EST

Registeration closed on 9 November 2021

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Maher Nasser
Director, Outreach Division, Department of Global Communications

Mr. Maher Nasser has over 30 years of work experience in the United Nations System during which he has worked in various capacities in Gaza, Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo, Vienna and New York. In the last six years, Mr. Nasser was appointed three times as Acting Under-Secretary-General in charge of the Department of Global Communications. Mr. Nasser took up his current position as Director of DGC’s Outreach Division in February 2011. He first joined DGC in January 2006 as Director of the UN Information Centre in Cairo. Before joining DGC, Mr. Nasser worked in various positions with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Gaza, Jerusalem, Vienna, Amman and New York. From 1992 to 1994, he worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna. Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Nasser worked with two Jerusalem-based NGOs focusing on development and human rights. Mr. Nasser also attended the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in October 1991 and the subsequent bilateral negotiations in Washington DC as the personal assistant to Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi, the Head of the Palestinian Negotiating Team.  Maher Nasser holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Bir Zeit University in Palestine and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Warwick in the UK.

Welcome remarks

H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid
President of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Abdulla Shahid is widely recognized as an exceptional politician and a seasoned diplomat, with a long and distinguished career serving in both the Government and legislature of Maldives.

Since his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs in 2018, for the second time, Mr. Shahid has worked incessantly to reposition Maldives as a responsible and respected member of the international community, by renewing previously strained relationships and building new ones, both in the bilateral and the multilateral domains. He has reinvigorated the country’s efforts in the multilateral arena and led national efforts to rejoin the Commonwealth after a four-year hiatus.

Maldives also won the bid to host the 2023 Indian Ocean Island Games, after tireless lobbying efforts conducted under the leadership of Mr. Shahid. The Games will be the first-ever international multisport competition held in Maldives.

As a strong advocate for gender equality, he is credited with achieving gender parity among the country’s diplomatic Heads of Missions for the first time, as well as in the country’s foreign service.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Mr. Shahid has been one of the leading voices in the international arena highlighting the devastation caused by the global health crisis on the economies and societies of small island developing States. He has continuously drawn attention to the inherent economic vulnerabilities of small island developing States to external shocks and their limited ability to bounce back from disasters.

View full biography of H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid


Keynote Statements from Civil Society

Mandeep Tiwana
Civil society representative, CIVICUS

Neo Monwela
Civil society representative, Volunteers Network for Global Change Association in Botswana; Botswana Green Crescent

Kehkashan Maushum Basu
Civil society representative and founder, Green Hope Foundation

Mabel Bianco
Civil society representative, Major Groups and other Stakeholders Coordination Mechanism; Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer

Radzhiv Valiev
Sail of Hope

Questions and Answers