08:00 – 09:00 REGISTRATION

09:00 – 09:15 OPENING REMARKS

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

Lukáš Parízek, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic 
Lenka Surotchak, Executive Director, Pontis Foundation

09:15 – 9:45 INTRODUCTORY SPEECH: Stepping up EU collective action to implement the SDGs and to address the root causes of migration

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

Yoka Brandt, Vice- Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Vice-Minister Yoka Brandt will focus on the importance for the implementation of the SDGs of making global value chains sustainable. The EU has the leverage to make sustainability the norm rather than the exception. Promoting Responsible Business Conduct is a crucial element, and multi-stakeholder initiatives are the best way forward. More policy coherence is needed to stimulate their uptake. Vice-Minister Brandt will also talk about the importance of addressing socio-economic root causes of migration, for instance by collectively investing in youth employment programs and creating alternative livelihood opportunities, therewith reducing the push factors for potential migrants to undertake a perilous journey to Europe.

09:45 – 11:15 PLENARY SESSION: How can development cooperation and humanitarian assistance work better together to address current migration and security challenges?

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

According to the estimates of the UNHCR and the IOM in 2015, an unprecedented one million people were forced to flee to Europe due to persecution, conflict and poverty. The Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU intends to encourage sustainable EU migration and asylum policies also by cooperation with third countries and solidarity. The EU Member States call for the importance to create better linkages between development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Agenda 2030 provides an impetus to look at the challenges in a complex manner and also to address them in such way. At the beginning of June, the European Commission published a communication on establishing a new Partnership Framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration. One of the key elements is to reach comprehensive partnerships (compacts) with third countries to better manage migration in full respect of our humanitarian and human rights obligations. To tackle root causes of migration in the countries of origin, an ambitious External Investment Plan is foreseen. What are the steps required to create a better linkage between development cooperation and humanitarian aid? How can we adjust the EU financial instruments to tackle the migration challenges so they are more effective? What partnerships are needed to deliver on the commitments done at the World Humanitarian Summit?

Moderator: Eva Svoboda, Research Fellow, ODI


Yoka Brandt, Vice- Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Lilian Darii, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova
Jean-Louis De Brouwer, DIR B in DG ECHO (Europe, Eastern Neighborhood and Middle East)
Michal Mlynár, Director General, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia
Zuzana Števulová, Director, Human Rights League
Loris De Filippi, PresidentMSF Italy
Seamus Jeffreson, Executive Director of CONCORD
Natalia Alonso, Deputy Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, Oxfam International

11:15 – 11:30 COFFEE BREAK


Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

Ivana Raslavská, Programme Director, Pontis Foundation
Jan Szczycinski, Project Manager, Kapuscinski Development Lectures, UNDP
Ingrid Ludviková, Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia

11:45 – 12:30 ALAA MURABIT

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

Moderator: Michal Vašečka, Faculty of Social Science, Masaryk University in Brno 

Speaker: Alaa Murabit, Voice of Libyan Women, UN Sustainable Development Goals Global Advocate

We live in the complex world with security becoming a more pressing issue every day. Often, we fight violent ideologies that target the most marginalised and most vulnerable members of our societies. In the face of security crisis, migration challenges and health-related issues, people are often caught in the crossfire in our attempts to frame our security. The response seems to be securitization of health, migration and other humanitarian disasters. Alaa Murabit, on of world’s leading voices for gender equality, will address this issues and challenge the way we look at them. She will also frame sustainable development in the light of currently emerging trends

12:30 – 13:00 DISCUSSION

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

13:00 – 14:00 LUNCH


THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE DISCUSSION TABLE: Disrupting Development: Does Innovation Work for the Most Vulnerable?

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA

We have been witnesses of new fascinating trends that disrupt the field of development. Large, multinational institutions are challenged by smaller and agile players who are redefining how we collect data (think Premise and real time data), how we mobilize funds for social good projects (think crowdfunding, peer to peer lending and blockchain for remittance transfers), how the funding is disbursed to citizens (think GiveDirectly or GrowFund), who do we consider to be an expert (think Positive Deviance Academy and Patient Innovation), or how we manage disaster risk (think AirBnB and PetaJakarta). In an effort to catch up, development organizations and governments around the world are searching for ways on how to do business differently and introduce more effective, efficient and agile solutions, and bottom up approaches to today’s developmental challenges. The push for disruptions results from shifting paradigms on citizen engagement, where lay citizens become active contributors and shapers of the policy agenda, and is underpinned by the spread of new technologies and alternative finance models. These developments are echoed in the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Data Revolution report, commissioned by the Secretary General, which seeks to improve efficiency in economic, social and environmental spheres, develop new and more sustainable ways to satisfy human needs, and empower people to make better informed decisions. This creates an interesting moment in time where the new players a la Premise do not have the scope or the scale to create an impact globally and where the development organizations still hold a niche in playing the convening role of bringing various parties together for joint action. Can innovation, in this context, play a role of bringing the emerging disruptors of the international development and large, multinational organizations such as the UN and the World Bank closer together in an effort to bridge the digital divide and create programs that will extend the scope to those who are the most marginalized and vulnerable? What role can new donors play to stimulate this type of new collaborations? How might the development organizations need to change in order to collaborate more with the emerging rank of new players in the field? How has the role of citizen changed in the context of development work?

Moderator: Rastislav Vrbenský, UNDP


Ken Banks, Founder of
Jan Hargaš, 
Milica Begovic, Knowledge and Innovation Team Leader, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub 
Gregor Virant, Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Serbia 

THE HABITAT FOR HUMANITY ROUNDTABLE: How to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Venue: Meeting room DIPLOMAT, MFEA

The urban population has grown at unprecedented speed in the past fifty years and this growing tendency is only expected to continue. By 2050, 66% of the global population will live in cities, which means 2 billion people more than today. People are drawn to cities for a range of reasons but ultimately they move in a search for a better life. Megacities are growing fast, but the most significant growth takes place in secondary cities and informal settlements (slums). All cities face challenges and opportunities which have to be addressed now. The world countries reacted to this development by introducing Agenda 2030 (the SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (Habitat III). The question is how the implementation of these policies can be safeguarded in the current context? How should the EU contribute to the implementation of these policies? How to address the current challenges and make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as the same time?

Moderator: Deepali Sood, Director of Partnerships, Habitat for Humanity International EMEA


Elena Szolgayová, Director General for Housing Policy and Urban Development in the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development of the Slovak Republic;  Chair of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management and member of the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee for HABITAT III
Crystal West, Advocacy Manager, Habitat for Humanity South Africa
František Kubeš, Head of Urban Policy Unit, Regional Policy Department, Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Republic
Tamzin Hudson, Advocacy Specialist, Habitat for Humanity International EMEA

THE INTERNATIONAL VISEGRAD FUND ROUNDTABLE: Visegrad Partners and Western Balkan CSOs for Development

Venue: Meeting room Prazska 7, 6th floor, MFEA

In the coming years, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania will need to develop mechanisms and define its policy and development cooperation and humanitarian aid and implement 30 chapters of the acquis communautaire concerning the EU's external relations and responsibility for global development. As in the past Europe, the involvement of Balkan NGOs in this process will be essential. Organizations in the Visegrad countries just recently went through similar processes and prepared for the implementation of development projects, educational activities and were involved in building first mechanisms for advocacy activities with local governments and the EU. The roundtable will focus on interconnecting NGOs in the Western Balkans with organizations in those EU countries which recently went through similar processes, discuss experiences and challenges in setting up development cooperation structures and mechanisms for advocacy with national governments and the EU.

Moderator: Ulrike Bey, HORIZONT3000


Štěpán Šantrůček, Czech Development Agency, Czech Republic
Marian Čaučik, eRko, Slovakia
Miodrag Milecevic, Executive Director of NGO AKTIV, Kosovo
Goran Mitrovic, Association Peoples Parliament, Serbia
Dorian Jano, Marin Barleti University, Albania
Ilina Nesik, Balkan Civil Society Network, Macedonia
Zsuzsanna Végh, Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Hungary
Dardan Kryeziu, Civikos, Kosovo


Seven Russian NGOs and their partners will share their experience and discuss relevant issues concerning the work of the selected CSOs. The roundtable will have closer look on current situation of Russian NGOs and opportunities of their engagement, particularly relations between Russian and European NGOs and collaboration possibilities, innovation in post-Soviet countries and conflict resolution and the role of NGOs in solving such problems. The roundtable is organized as informal side event.
Key discussants:

Olga Drozdova, Agency for social information
Evgenia Verba, "Sluzhenie Association"
Maria Sereda, Prague Civil Center
Snezhana Frantsuzova, "Civil Unity"



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