08:00 – 09:00 REGISTRATION


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

09:15 – 10:30 PLENARY SESSION: Revision of the EU Development Policy – How to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA SR

The year 2015 was an important milestone in international development. After the commitments taken at the conferences in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris, now it is time to deliver. Agenda 2030 and the adoption of SDGs have been an impetus to revise the European Consensus on Development. Public consultation launched by the EC provided space to different stakeholders to express their views on the Agenda 2030 and future of EU development policy. Policy coherence for development as one of the “beyond-aid issues” is considered to be inevitable to achieve the SDGs. It requires a strong engagement and ownership from a variety of actors who do not necessarily deal with development policy issues. Clear strategy, leadership and proper coordination between ministries and agencies as well as dialogue with the civil society organisations, private sector, research institutions, the EU and the OECD may help to promote a shared agenda for coherent policies that support global development agenda for the benefit of all. What is the role of the Civil Society in promoting and implementing 2030 agenda? How can we make sure the SDGs are achieved by 2030 so that our planet is preserved for future generations? How to create synergies across government departments to minimize adverse impact of the non-aid policies on developing countries?

Moderator: Natalia Alonso, Deputy Director of Advocacy & Campaigns, Oxfam International


Lukáš Parízek, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
Yoka Brandt, Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Seamus Jeffreson, Executive Director of CONCORD
Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of the European Commission's DG DEVCO (TBC)

10:30 – 11:00 COFFEE BREAK

11:00 – 12:30 PLENARY SESSION: How can development cooperation and humanitarian assistance work better together to address current migration and security challenges? 

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA SR

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. EU Member States call for the importance to create better linkages between development cooperation and humanitarian aid. Agenda 2030 provides an impetus so look on the challenges in a complex manner and also to address them in this 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 needed to better link development cooperation and humanitarian aid? How can we better adjust EU financial instruments to tackle the migration challenges? What partnerships are needed to deliver on the commitments done at the World Humanitarian Summit?

Moderator: Eva Svoboda, Research Fellow, ODI


Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Deputy Director-General and Director for “Migration and frontiers” at the Direction-General “Justice, freedom and security”, European Commission
Michal Mlynár, Director General, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia
Alaa Murabit, Voice of Libyan Women, UN Sustainable Development Goals Global Advocate
Michal Vašečka, Faculty of Social Science, Masaryk University in Brno
Zuzana Števulová, Director, Human Rights League  
Loris De Filippi, President, Medecins Sans Frontieres Italy

12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH


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

Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA SR

We’re seeing fascinating new trends that are disrupting the field of development. Large, multi national 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 finding ways 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 dont have the scope or the scale to create impact globally and where the development organizations still hold a niche in playing the convening role of bringing various parties for joint action. In this context, can innovation 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 to those most marginalized and vulnerable? What role can the 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, Manager, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub


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

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

Venue: meeting room Diplomat, MFEA SR

The urban population has grown at an unprecedented speed in the past fifty years and the growth rate 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 search of 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 must now be addressed. The world countries reacted to this development by introducing Agenda 2030 (the SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (Habitat III). The question is how to assure the implementation of these policies in the current context? How should the EU contribute to the implementation of these policies? How to address this challenge, in order to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable?

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


Elena SzolgayováDirector 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, MFEA SR

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 take 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, Horizont 3000


Ilina Nesik, Balkan Civil Society Network, Macedonia
Dorian Jano, Marin Barleti University, Albania
Goran Mitrovic, Association Peoples Parliament, Serbia
Shpend Emini, Democracy for Development, Kosovo
Štěpán Šantrůček, Czech Development Agency, Czech Republic
Zsuzsanna Végh, Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Hungary
Marian Čaučik, eRko, Slovakia



Venue: Congress Hall, MFEA SR

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



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