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25 February 2021

UNA-NCA Coffee Chat: Global Health Challenges

On Thursday, February 25th from 1:00-2:00pm ET, join UNA-NCA for the latest installment of our Coffee Chat Series. 

We've explored through this series how COVID among other factors are impacting facets of sustainable development, from poverty, hunger, housing, to innovation. This discussion on Global Health Challenges will look specifically to how COVID is impacting other longstanding or emergent health challenges.

Will the global pandemic response ultimately serve as a positive model and allow us to mitigate the harm of future crises? Has it raised public consciousness of the importance of proactive, well-funded and coordinated health interventions? Or has COVID been too great a setback in the broader scheme of vaccinations, or in managing preventable illnesses worldwide?  

Launched in 2020, UNA-NCA's Coffee Chat series has brought together the foremost leadership on sustainable development  alongside hundreds of participants from around the world. Together, we engage with the most pressing challenges of our time, identifying our shared goals and new opportunities for collaboration. Dynamic and genuine, Coffee Chats offer participants unprecedented access to high-profile decision-makers from across sectors. 
Register here.

Dr. Roopa Dhatt, Executive Director of Women in Global Health
Dr. Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadership. She is also a practicing Internal Medicine physician in Washington, D.C. Dr. Dhatt is particularly committed to addressing issues of power, privilege, and intersectionality that keep many women from global health leadership roles and to opening up spaces for the voices of these women to be heard. Determined to build a movement to transform women’s leadership opportunities in health, Dr. Dhatt co-founded Women in Global Health in 2015. Today, Women in Global Health has more than 24+ chapters, 35,000 supporters in more than 90 countries, and continues to grow. She advises the WHO on matters of the health workforce, gender equity, and universal health coverage. Dr. Dhatt was recognized in the Gender Equality Top 100, the most influential people in global policy 2019.

Mark P. Lagon, Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight 

Mark P. Lagon is Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He was Centennial Fellow in the SFS 2016-2017. Previously he was President of Freedom House. Lagon served as the Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris Project, which operates the U.S. Government's national anti-trafficking hotline. From 2007 to 2009, he served as Ambassador-At-Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State.

From 2004 to 2007, Lagon served in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary. In this capacity, he had lead responsibility for United Nations-related human rights and humanitarian issues, UN reform, and outreach. Lagon previously served as a member of the Secretary of State Colin Powell's Policy Planning Staff, where he focused on UN, democracy and human rights (2002-2004). Dr. Lagon is a Founding Board Member of the Global Business Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (gbcat.org), which includes as members Carlson, Coca Cola, Delta Airlines, Google, LexisNexis, and Microsoft. He is on the Board of Foreign Policy for America, founded by MSFS alumni. He on Advisory Boards of the Center for Victims of Torture, UN Watch, and ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking). 

Sarah Craven, Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Washington D.C.
A policy advocate and attorney with experience in global health and human rights, Sarah Craven currently serves as the Director of the Washington Office of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. In this role, Ms. Craven advocates for UNFPA's mandate which envisions a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person can live to their full potential. Ms. Craven has worked on advocacy campaigns focused on empowering women and girls and ending harmful traditional practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation. Prior to her work at UNFPA, she held positions at the U.S. Department of State and on the legislative staff to U.S. Senators Tim Wirth of Colorado and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii. She served as policy advisor to CEDPA during the 1994 International Conference on Population and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. She holds a B.A. from Macalester College, a M.Phil from Cambridge University (UK) and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar. In 2010, she was named one of Macalester College’s Distinguished Citizens.  

Mike Beard, Global Health Director at Better World Campaign
Mike Beard is the Global Health Director for the Better World Campaign. In these roles, Mike directs BWC’s global health initiatives and the advocacy portfolio of the UN Foundation’s signature campaigns, including Nothing But Nets, Shot@Life, Girl Up, and the Universal Access Project. Over the past eight years at the Foundation, his portfolio has included malaria and global immunization programs, girl’s empowerment, women and girls’ health issues, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through these campaigns, the team has seen unprecedented support for United Nations and its activities in Congress and in the Administration.

From funding for the UN through appropriations bills to securing bipartisan support for the passage of the Girls Count Act of 2015, Mike and his team have achieved several major legislative successes. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2009, Mike worked for five years under Congresswoman Jackie Speier and the late Congressman Tom Lantos on both his personal and Foreign Affairs Committee staffs. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

11 March 2021

DC for CEDAW: Gender Equity Coalition


Join UNA-NCA on Thursday, March 11 from 1:00-2:30pm ET for its DC for CEDAW Coalition Call. Register to attend here.

Through a coalition of organizations, institutions, universities, and individuals advocating for gender equity, our campaign seeks to have the principles of the Convention on the Discrimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted into city legislature across the National Capital Area, starting with the District of Columbia. 

On March 11, we will brief new and potential coalition members on our primary objectives and opportunities to get involved, brainstorm strategies for effective engagement and mobilization, and contextualize local CEDAW implementation in the broader context of the fight for gender equity in DC and beyond.  

What is CEDAW? 
CEDAW is a human rights treaty passed in 1978 and signed by President Carter, but never ratified by the US Senate. This makes the US one of only six UN member states to have not ratified the treaty. The aim of Cities for CEDAW is to “Make the Global Local” and protect the rights of women and girls by adopting the principles of CEDAW in cities and towns across the United States. CEDAW offers a comprehensive international women’s human rights treaty as an overarching framework for advancing political and economic equality for women in the US at the local level; while at the same time elevating the important benefits from US ratification of the treaty at the federal level. Learn more about CEDAW here

Why CEDAW in DC? 
In 2015, UNA-NCA and coalition members successfully partnered with DC Councilman David Grosso to introduce a bill to: 

    • Amend the Office of Human Rights Establishment Act of 1999 to require that all District government agencies conduct gender analyses within their departments and require the Office of Human Rights to produce an annual report for the purpose of implementing a citywide action plan to ensure equality for women and girls in the economic, educational, political, social and cultural arenas pursuant to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women; 
    • Cited as the “Local Implementation of the Convention of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Amendment Act of 2015”

However, a hearing about the bill (despite cosponsorships from all DC Councilmembers) was never scheduled. 

What does our bill call for? 
The key provisions of the 2015 bill are: 

    • District government agencies will be required to conduct gender analysis reporting according to the guidelines developed by the Office of Human Rights (OHR)
    • The gender analysis will include the collection of disaggregated data and an evaluation of gender equity in the District government agencies operations
    • Each agency will designate a management or executive level employee to serve as a liaison to the OHR and coordinate the completion of the gender analysis
    • OHR will develop timelines for completion of the gender analysis
    • Annually, OHR will develop a citywide action plan to address any deficiencies identified in the gender analysis reporting
    • OHR will present the annual action plan to the Mayor and monitor the implementation of the citywide action plan
    • OHR will make available to all District government agencies training in human rights with a gender perspective 

Register to attend here.

Please direct all inquiries to Shayna Vayser at shayna@unanca.org.