Interactive conference to mark the UNITAR Division for Peace Advisory Board side event in the wider context of the WHO’s “Health and Peace Initiative". 

February 11th, 2022, 10:00 am-12:00 am CET

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While conflict is a major obstacle to healthcare, the failure of the healthcare system itself, through lack of access to healthcare and basic social services can be a major driver of conflict and violence. 

In this context, the WHO Health and Peace initiative, launched in January 2020, aims to develop innovative ways to address health challenges in conflict. The innovative approach of this new health programme aims to be used not only to work in conflict (by achieving health benefits in conflict situations) but also to work on conflict. Among other things, it helps empower local health actors to (re)build peaceful relationships with each other through partnerships with other traditional health actors, other UN entities and peacebuilding actors. 

This long-planned initiative came shortly ahead of the unplanned global health crisis that has posed an unprecedented challenge to the implementation of humanitarian and developing programmes. Nevertheless, peace-relevant health interventions can help improve the prospects for local peace building Nexus in initially three suggested approaches: 

  • By incorporating healthcare education context needs into humanitarian risk situation assessments and analysis overview. Through interactions with community and humanitarian health focused stakeholders, making accessibility and equitability of healthcare education one of priorities.   

  • By building mutual understanding and collaboration between conflicting sides for common topics concerning healthcare governance and delivery of healthcare education.  

  • By improving a bottom-up social cohesion at local level through community awareness, education, and inclusiveness.  

In response to this call from the community of nations and the COVID-19 pandemic, UNITAR Division for Peace will contribute to the ongoing global conversation by: 

  • Communicate on how health education initiatives attributes to sustainable peace; 

  • Use personal storytelling as a source of inspiration for cooperative action at all levels; 

  • Present healthcare educational initiatives in various related thematic areas and use them as a starting point for new innovative developments to meet the needs of the new normal; 

  • Bring together local and high-level peace actors to raise awareness and take the lead on healthcare education issues in peacekeeping. 

Agenda - ADVISORY BOARD Side Event February 2022

A joint face-to-face and virtual event will be organised on the occasion of the annual side event of the Peace Division's Advisory Board meeting. The event will bring together healthcare sector actors working in conflict-afflicted areas to discuss the theme of healthcare access as a bridge to a sustainable peace and share experiences for capacity-building in humanitarian contexts, as well as the Division for Peace Advisory Board Members and the broader public. 

The panel discussion builds on the experiences of health professionals from various parts of the world that have developed strategies, from each of their fields, to contribute to a better access to healthcare and healthcare education and how advancing health and medical training helps implement peacebuilding.  

Based on a cross-cutting approach, the discussion aims to open a space to link up the thematic pillars of UNITAR’s Division for Peace to health and explore the many learning possibilities to relate the peace-health nexus to the multiple components of peace.  

The discussion will focus on: 

  • Examples of real challenges that each of actors faced in their educational work in peacebuilding/ humanitarian/health development as a result of the conflict and COVID-19 pandemic; 

  • Innovative tools and approaches used to deal with these challenges and continue capacity    building for peace; 

  • Possible ways to address existing capacity building gaps and better contribute to the health and humanitarian sector through stronger partnerships and multi-sectoral collaboration; 

  • Highlighting UNITAR's cross-cutting contribution to capacity building and training in the health and humanitarian sector 

In the end, all attendees and speakers will be invited for a Q&A exchange to draw conclusions from the experience to date and identify ways forward. 

Themes

Themes:

  • Peacebuilding and Health 

  • Capacity-building 

  • Healthcare accessibility 

  • Humanitarian Action 

  • Conflict resolution 

 

Guest Speakers and Panellists

Moderator:

Ms. Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga,

UN Senior correspondent, Elected Vice-President of the Association of Accredited Correspondents at United Nations (ACANU), and Vice-President of Swiss Press Club.  

Keynote speaker:

Dr Rudi Coninx, 

Senior Policy Adviser to the Assistant-Director General for Emergency Response at the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Speakers:  

Mr. Howard Catton

CEO of International Council of Nurses (ICN)

Ms. Bongi Sibanda 

Advanced Practice Nurse leader and academic with expertise in international healthcare workforce education. 

Dr. Maria S. Guevara

 International Medical Secretary, Medecins Sans Frontieres

 

Programme

Moderation: Ms. Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga,UN Senior correspondent, Elected Vice-President of the Association of Accredited Correspondents at United Nations (ACANU), and Vice-President of Swiss Press Club. 

10h00 – 10h10: Opening remarks, Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director at United Nations Institute for Training and Research 

10h10 – 10h20: Opening and introductory remarks, Ms. Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga (moderator) 

10h20 – 10h35: Brief remarks from the keynote speaker, Dr Rudi Coninx, Senior Policy Adviser to the Assistant-Director General for Emergency Response at the World Health Organization (WHO). 

10h35 – 10h45: Brief remarks, Ms. Bongi Sibanda, Advanced Practice Nurse leader and academic with expertise in international healthcare workforce education.  

10h45 – 10h55: Brief remarks, Dr Maria Guevara, International Medical Secretary, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 

10h55 – 11h05: Brief remarks, Mr. Howard Catton, Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN)  

11h05 – 11h35: Panel discussion led by the moderator 

11h35 – 11h50: Q&A with the audience, led by the moderator  

11h50 – 11h55: Closing remarks by the moderator 

11h55 – 12H00: Closing remarks, Mr. Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director at United Nations Institute for Training and Research 

The event will be conducted in English with French and Spanish interpretation. 

Live stream on UNITAR's Facebook page

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