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Invisible no Longer: Data Solutions to LNOB Dilemmas

17 September 2023 • 3:15 – 4:45 pm EDT
UN General Assembly Building

When? Sunday 17 September 2023, 3.15 – 4.45 pm.

Where? Conference Room 7, UN Secretariat, New York, USA. In-person event. International sign language and French and Spanish translations will be provided.

This side event forms part of discussions held in New York aiming to redouble efforts to meet in full the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It is closely related to the High-Level Initiative of the UN Secretariat to utilise a Data Dividend to help all UN member states fulfil the SDG pledges.

The side event has been sponsored by the Governments of Brazil and Norway, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), Instituto Afrodescendiente para el Estudio, La Investigación y el Desarrollo, the European Roma Grassroots Organisation (ERGO) and Minority Rights Group (MRG).

The focus of the event is how disaggregating data can support the data dividend benefits, which is one of the 5 key initiatives that hold an important role in the acceleration of the SDGs. This will also be the main focus of the UNFPA in the UN’s upcoming summit on accelerating progress towards the SDGs.

The initiative of unleashing the data dividend involves increasing financial and political support to improve the production, management, analysis and use of data to help accelerate progress within countries and globally towards achieving the SDGs.

This event will focus specifically on how existing measures have already been used to help governments make significant progress in reaching the SDGs and accomplish other goals, such as the commitment to Leave No One Behind, which this side event will reinforce within the commitments to ‘Unlock the Data Dividend’ (High Impact Initiative). It aims to ensure that data ecosystems disaggregate data by groups at risk of being left behind, in a manner consistent with human rights norms and principles, ensuring participation of those with lived experience of discrimination and exclusion.


The key speakers at the event are listed below:

  • Chair: Joshua Castellino, Co-Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International and Professor of International & Comparative Law at Derby University, United Kingdom. He founded the School of Law at Middlesex University, London in 2012, and served as the Dean until he stepped down in 2018 to move to MRG. He holds visiting academic positions at several universities across Europe and serves pro-bono on governing boards in Germany, India, the Netherlands, Hungary and the UK. Born and raised in Mumbai, he worked as a journalist for Indian Express Group and won a Chevening Scholarship and complete a PhD in international law in 1998. He has published 8 books and over one hundred articles on international law and human rights over twenty-five years in academia. In 2015 he was appointed chair by the OHCHR of the 8th Forum on Minority Issues.
  • Keynote speaker: Diene Keita is the Deputy Executive Director of the UNFPA. Ms. Keita joined UNFPA in 2006 as Representative in Mauritania, and thereafter served in representative positions in Benin, as well as in DRC and Nigeria (two of UNFPA’s largest programmes globally) before joining the Guinean Government as a Cabinet Minister in 2018. During this time, Ms. Keita successfully led large and complex public health programmes, expanded strategic partnerships and mobilized critical resources to support delivery. All throughout her career, Ms. Keita has worked extensively on the empowerment of women and youth, inclusive growth, demographic issues, sustainable human development, addressing sexual and reproductive health, as well as gender-based violence in humanitarian settings.
  • Panelists:
    • Renata Vargas Amaral is Secretary for International Affairs and Development at the Ministry of Planning and Budget, Brazil. PhD from the University of Maastricht (Netherlands), Doctor in Law and Bachelor of Law from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) and Master in International Trade from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). Lawyer, with more than 17 years of remarkable experience in multilateral organizations, bilateral and regional trade negotiations, international trade disputes and trade policy. Founder of Women Inside Trade (WIT), an international NGO of women professionals in international trade present in several countries. She is an Adjunct Professor at the American University Washington College of Law. She has served as a member of the Research Hub on Gender of the World Trade Organization.
    • Rio Hada, Chief, Equality, Development and Rule of Law Section, OHCHR. He currently leads OHCHR’s thematic engagement in New York on equality and non-discrimination, sustainable development, and the rule of law to mainstream human rights in interagency and intergovernmental discussions at the UN Headquarters. Prior to his current appointment in 2022, he coordinated the OHCHR’s global thematic work on economic, social and cultural rights and the human rights of older persons. In 2019, he co-led the UN-Water campaign for the 2019 World Water Day with the theme of leaving no one behind: ‘Water for all: whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right’. During 2006-2017, he led OHCHR’s human rights mainstreaming agenda in the UN system and coordinated UN interagency efforts to integrate human rights in the policies and programmes of the UN development system and to promote human rights-based implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Prior to OHCHR, he served at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in New York, the UN Office at Vienna, UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, on a wide range of issues including poverty and social development, administration of justice, post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation, international trade and South-South cooperation. He holds a Master of International Affairs in economic development and human rights from Columbia University in New York.
    • Asif Aqeel, Deputy Director of the Center for Law and Justice., is a prominent Pakistani journalist, researcher, academic, and activist specializing in issues related to religious minorities. Currently serving as the Deputy Director of the Center for Law and Justice (CLJ) Aqeel has dedicated his career to advocating for equal rights and inclusion and addressing systemic inequalities and social exclusion.
    • Simona Torotcoi, European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network. A Roma activist from Romania, currently a Roma rights expert for the Global Forum of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent representing the European Roma Grassroots Organization Network. Having previously completed a PhD in Public Policy from the Central European University, and having worked for UNICEF, Simona has a particular interest in education policies for Roma minorities. She is a founding member of the Young Roma Maramures Association in Romania, a youth organization focused on the development of Roma communities. Since 2010 she has been involved in the activities of initiatives of Change, Phiren Amenca, OSCE CPRSI, and Roma Education fund, and she has researched issues such as antigypsyism and access to education, employment, civic and political participation.
    • B. Piedad Urdinola Contreras, General Director of the Colombian National Statistical Office, DANE is an economist from Los Andes University; Mrs. Urdinola holds an MSc in economics from the same University and a Ph.D. in demographics and population Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining DANE, Director Urdinola was a researcher at Fedesarrollo where she led the first Longitudinal Survey of Colombian Households, the Social Survey 2004-2005. She was also Director of the Andean Demographic and Epidemiologic Observatory (ODEAN), as well as the co-founder and co-chair of the Latin American Mortality Database- Moreover, Mrs. Urdinola has been an associate professor in the Statistics Department of Colombia’s National University. Throughout her career, Mrs. Urdinola has had several scholarships and has been awarded visiting researcher status at Harvard and Stanford.

Watch the event recording