Bridging health, peace and security: The role of trust and community engagement


Description of the event

The Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest public health crisis in generations and has devastating impacts on lives and livelihoods. The emergence of a suite of vaccines represents a beacon of hope that we may soon stem the tide of the pandemic. Multilateral initiatives, such as the COVAX facility, play a crucial role in ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines to developing countries. This does not, however, guarantee success on the home straight in getting vaccines into arms.   The pandemic, and accompanying infodemic, have exacerbated existing inequalities and mistrust between groups and towards authorities. This is particularly acute in countries affected by violence and conflict. To succeed, the international community and health practitioners need to anticipate and address resistance to and tensions surrounding vaccine campaigns and health systems, as well as the challenges of gaining access in dangerous contexts.  This session will explore the necessity to focus on trust and community engagement to the fight against the pandemic and the opportunity this represents to build greater confidence in community cooperation and in governance systems.   


Speakers Biographies


Scott M. Weber

President of Interpeace. A specialist in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, he leads Interpeace in its work supporting locally-led peacebuilding initiatives in more than 21 countries. Prior to his appointment, Weber served as Director- General of Interpeace from 2005-2018 and has worked at the United Nations, in the Office of the United Nations Director-General in Geneva (UNOG) and in disaster preparedness.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director-General, World Health Organization. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. He is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and is the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO's chief technical and administrative officer.


Tarja Halonen

Former President of Finland and Lancet-SIGHT Commission Chair on peaceful societies through health and gender equality. Served as the 11th President of Finland, and the first woman to hold the position, from 2000 to 2012. She also served as a minister at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health from 1987 to 1990, as Minister of Justice from 1990 to 1991, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1995 to 2000.

Karin Landgren

Executive Director of Security Council Report. She served with the United Nations for over 35 years and is the first woman to have headed three UN peace operations mandated by the Security Council. She was Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) to Liberia and head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) 2012–2015. Previously, she served as SRSG to Burundi and Head of the United Nations Mission in Burundi (BNUB), and as Representative of the Secretary-General to Nepal and head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN).


Per Olsson Fridh

Per Olsson Fridh is Minister for International Development Cooperation overseeing Sweden’s. Policy for Global Development and the development cooperation components of the Swedish
Feminist Foreign Policy. Prior, Per Olsson Fridh was State Secretary for International Development Cooperation, State Secretary for Culture and Democracy, Chair of the Swedish Green Party in Stockholm and Secretary-General for the Swedish Centre for International Youth Exchange.

Svitlana Shatalova

Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine. From April 2017 to June 2019 - was the Deputy Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration for Economic Affairs. From June 2019 to November 2019 - was the acting Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration. From 2012 to 2017 - worked as Deputy Director of Financial and Economic Affairs of the State Enterprise "Polygraph Combine “Ukraina” for securities' production".


Wahid Majrooh

Minister for Public Health, Afghanistan. Dr. Wahid Majrooh was born to an enlightened and religious family in 1985 in the Shindand district of Herat province. He was admitted to the Medical Faculty of Herat University and graduated with a degree of MD in 2008. n 2017, he received his first master's degree in political science and subsequently in the same year, he was admitted to his second master's degree program in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).