Plenary Sessions – The UN and Africa: Progress Towards Achieving the SDGs

Plenary I – The UN and Africa: Progress towards the SDGs

> Nabeel Goheer, Assistant Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Nabeel is with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London since 2010, and presently working as Assistant Secretary-General. He specialises in the relevance and reform of international organisations and complex systems. In the last eight years, he has worked closely with Commonwealth member states, coordinated its networks, and supported eminent person groups to rejuvenate the system. Earlier, he worked with other international agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, and USAID. He studied for PhD at Cambridge Judge Business School, has affiliation with the Hull University Business School as a Distinguished Fellow, and also lectures at Oxford and Middlesex Universities.

> Carlos Lopes, Professor at the Mandela School of Public Governance, UCT

Carlos Lopes is a Professor at the Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town and Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris. He has led several UN institutions such as UN System Staff College, UNITAR and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Lopes has also been UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe and Brazil and Political Director for UN SG Kofi Annan. He left the UN with the rank of Under-Secretary General in 2016 to resume his academic career. He is also a member of the African Union Reform Team, led by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, and doubles as the AU’s High Representative for Partnerships with Europe. Widely published his latest book is “Africa in Transformation. Economic Development in the age of doubt” (Palgrave McMillan, 2019).

> Morné Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research, Stellenbosch University

Dr Morné Mostert is the Director of the Institute for Futures Research at Stellenbosch University. He advises globally on Futures-based executive decision-making and cognitive development for senior leaders and has worked i.a. in London, Paris, Madrid, Dijon, Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and several African countries (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland, Tunisia and Mauritius). Subsequent to his PhD in the Management of Technology and Innovation, his areas of specialisation include Futures Thinking, Strategic Thinking, Systems Thinking and Creative Innovation. He is the Chairman of media tech start-up Africa Business Radio. Dr Mostert is a regular keynote speaker and frequent guest on radio and television in the business media. He is the author of the influential book Systemic Leadership Learning – Leadership Development in the Era of Complexity, which has been the prescribed text for several international programmes on strategic leadership. He is a member of the ILO international panel of experts on the Future of Work.


Plenary II – Human Rights and Democracy: Where does Development fit in?

> Changrok Soh, Member of the UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory panel

Dr. Changrok Soh is currently a professor of the Graduate School of International Studies and the Director of Human Rights Center in Korea University. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of UN Human Rights Council and the President of Human Asia (a Human Rights NGO). Dr. Soh has thrived to reflect his research on human rights into the practice through his role as an independent UN and NGO expert. After graduating from the Department of International Relations at Seoul National University, he received his Ph.D. as well as MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.


> Netsanet Belay, Africa Director for Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International

Netsanet Belay, an Ethiopian national, is the Africa Director for Research and Advocacy at Amnesty International. Prior to this role, Netsanet Belay was Director of the Policy and Research at CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen’s Participation in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has more than 15 years of experience in promoting and defending human rights at the national, regional and global levels, and is a trained human rights lawyer. Netsanet spent over two years in prison in Ethiopia as a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ for his role in leading human rights activism in the country.

Plenary III – Crime, Conflict and Development

> Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director Division for Policy Analysis and Public Information, UNODC

Mr. Lemahieu was appointed Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in December 2013. Before taking up this position in Vienna, he gained 20 years of field experience, serving in various countries challenged by political economies heavily dependent on drug cultivation, including Afghanistan and Myanmar, and in transit regions such as Central Asia and the Caribbean. His first appointment with the United Nations dates back to 1990, as a Junior Professional Officer with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) assigned to the Republic of Korea.

> Ai Kihara-Hunt, Associate Professor at the Graduate Program on Human Security

Dr. Ai Kihara-Hunt is Associate Professor at the Graduate Program on Human Security and Deputy Director of the Research Center for Sustainable Peace at the University of Tokyo. She also serves as a member of ACUNS Board of Directors. Her main area of research is UN Peace Operations, in particular the UN Police, accountability and human rights. Previously she worked for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Peace Operations in Timor-Leste/East Timor among others. Her publications include: Holding UNPOL to Account: Individual Criminal Accountability of United Nations Police Personnel (Brill, 2017).