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4th Global Biennial Conference on Small States

Under the theme 'Achieving a Resilient Future for Small States', the 4th Global Biennial Conference on Small States will bring together senior officials from Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth small states, as well as key regional and international development partners.

The conference in Seychelles will take stock of the challenges small states face, consider their strategic vision for the future, and review some of the tools required to achieve their goals.

Speakers' bios

Peter Baeck is Head of Collaborative Economy Research at Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation
Mr Baeck has led on much of Nesta’s research into crowdfunding and P2P lending as an innovative way of financing products and services. He will be presenting on Crowdfunding for Development during Session 7: “Financing for Development” at the Conference.

 

Vanessa Chan is Director-General of the International Organisations Directorate in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vanessa's past assignments include First Secretary in the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (1999 – 2002), Assistant and later Deputy Director in the International Organisations Directorate (2003-2007), Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister-Counsellor in the Embassy in Yangon (2007-2011), and Director-General of the International Organisations Directorate (2012 to date). She will deliver a presentation on “Building Resilience: The Case of Singapore” at the Conference.

Robert Chase is Advisor for Strategy in the World Bank Group's Operations Policy and Country Services Vice Presidency
In that capacity, Robert advises Senior Management and regional and global practice operations teams on how to ensure that our operations, lending and analysis are supportive of the envisioned long-term direction for the World Bank Group, providing tailored support to all country stakeholders. He will be the lead presenter in Session 4: “The Future We Want: Different Perspectives” at the Conference.

Tijani Christian is proud son of the land of wood and water, Jamaica
Mr Christian is the Chairperson of the Caribbean Regional Youth Council and Youth Ambassador of Jamaica to the Commonwealth and a Member of the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) Spokesperson Bureau. He will be a respondent in Session 4: “The Future We Want: Different Perspectives” at the Conference.

 

Camillo Gonsalves became the Minister of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Industry, Information and Labour on the 25th January 2016
Minister Gonsalves worked as a journalist in Philadelphia, practiced corporate and civil rights law in Washington, DC, and served as Senior Crown Counsel for the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He will be a respondent in Session 1: “Global Developments and Local Realities” at the Conference.

Emeline Siale Ilolahia is the Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga

Emeline became Executive Director of the Office of the Civil Society Forum (CSFT) of Tonga in 2007. CSFT's focus is building a strong CSO sector in Tonga and providing a common platform for common voices to be heard and advocating for participatory democracy to influence developmental policies for positive change in the life of Tongan people. She will be a respondent in Session 4: “The Future We Want: Different Perspectives” at the Conference.

Simon Jennings is a Lead Advisor at the UK Government’s Marine Science Agency, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Through Cefas, Simon advises the UK Government and other national and international bodies on marine environmental management, with a focus on indicators, biodiversity, fisheries and food security. He will give a presentation on 'The Role of Technical Innovation in Securing Sustainable use of the Oceans' during Session 6: “Building Resilience Through Innovation” at the Conference.

Rebecca Loustau-Lalanne is Principal Secretary for the Blue Economy Department in the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy
Ms Loustau-Lalanne served as a First Secretary in the Multilateral Affairs Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2015. In February 2015 she was appointed Principal Secretary for the Blue Economy Department in the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy. She will be presenting on Financing the Blue Economy during Session 7: “Financing for Development” at the Conference.

Justin Mundy is the Director of The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU)
Before the ISU Mr Mundy worked as an Adviser to the UK Government on Russia, Energy and Climate Change. Previously, he ran the World Bank’s forestry and biodiversity programmes in Russia and Central Asia. He will be presenting on the Commonwealth Green Finance Facility during Session 7: “Financing for Development” at the Conference.

 

Adil Najam is the Dean of the Frederick S Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University
Professor Najam was a co-author for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; work for which the scientific panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for advancing the public understanding of climate change science. He will be lead presenter in Session 2: “Small States in a Changing Climate” at the Conference.

 

Wilson Nancy was elected as the Chairman of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industries in March 2016
Mr Nancy is also a member of the Institute of Structural Engineer, and the Association of MBAs both from the UK. He will be a respondent in Session 5: “Building Resilience: Creating an Enabling Environment” at the Conference.

 

 

Kasirim Nwuke is Chief, New Technologies and Innovation at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mr Nwuke was a Research Associate at Harvard University School of Public Health and a Fellow in African Studies at the African Studies Center, Boston University and had taught at a number at a number of higher education institutions in the United States before joining the United Nations. He will be presenting in Session 6: “Building Resilience through Innovation” at the Conference.

Mr Wendell Samuel, a national of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is Deputy Division Chief in the Eastern II Division of the IMF’s African Department
Prior to joining the African Department, Mr. Samuel held the positions of Deputy Division Chief in the Western Hemisphere Department, Senior Director of Research and Information at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, and a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies. He will be a respondent in Session 5: “Building Resilience: Creating an Enabling Environment” at the Conference.

H.E. Mr Ahmed Shiaan is the Ambassador of Maldives to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union and the non-resident High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Since joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives in 1996, Mr Shiaan has acquired a wealth of experience at the Foreign Ministry and at overseas missions to become one of Maldives’ most seasoned career diplomats. H.E. Ahmed Shiaan will be a panelist in Session 2: “Small States in a Changing Climate” at the Conference.

Sibry Tapsoba has been the Director, Transition Support Department at the African Development Bank since November 2013 with responsibility for countries in fragile situations 
Before joining the Bank, Dr. Tapsoba served as Regional Director of the International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC-Canada) for West and Central Africa. As a member of the Executive Committee, he oversaw the general guidelines of IDRC-Canada action for the region. He will facilitate Session 7: “Financing for Development” at the Conference.

Piera Tortora is the lead analyst in the development finance architecture and global governance team at the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate
Prior to joining the OECD, Piera conducted and managed economic analyses on policy issues in relation to growth and development, especially in low and middle income countries. She will be a respondent in Session 1: “Global Developments and Local Realities” at the Conference.

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