Global Perspectives | Salon | 8. October 2020

Noble Conspiracies for a Global Community

with Vera Songwe and the Utstein Four: Eveline Herfkens, Hilde Johnson, Clare Short and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul

Please find below the recording of the event.

The COVID-19 crisis entails numerous challenges, in Europe and in Africa. Alarmingly, it puts at risk some of the recent vital achievements in the fight against poverty and hunger. In the long term, the pandemic may hit vulnerable communities the most but it is already a global challenge.

Four outstanding European former ministers, the Utstein Four, have had their own experiences with tackling such international crisis and know how to seize the opportunity for more genuine cooperation and partnership. In the midst of the pandemic their story of female leadership and of the importance of international cooperation has recently been published.

On this occasion, and in light of the current developments we want to discuss: How should today’s international development policies be designed to tackle such complex challenges effectively?

Together with Vera Songwe, UN Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission and the Utstein Four we seek to answer this question. The four women forming the so-called Utstein Four were ministers in charge of international development in their governments: Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul from Germany, Eveline Herfkens from the Netherlands, Hilde Johnson from Norway and Clare Short from the United Kingdom.
Constantine Michalopoulos, author of the book “Ending Global Poverty. Four Women’s Noble Conspiracies” will open the discussion.

The discussion will be moderated by Christine Mhundwa, journalist at Deutsche Welle.


  • Constantine Michalopoulos, Author of "Ending Global Poverty. Four Women's Noble Conspiracies"
  • Eveline Herfkens, former Minister for Development Cooperation in the Netherlands, Vice Chair of the Board of the African Center for Economic Transformation
  • Hilde Frafjord Johnson, former Minister for International Development of Norway
  • Clare Short, former Secretary of State for the Department of International Development in Great Britain
  • Vera Songwe, UN Under Secretary General, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission
  • Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, former Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany, Vice-President of Friends of the Global Fund Europe, member of the German Council for Sustainable Development


  • Christine Mhundwa, Anchor & Correspondent, Deutsche Welle (DW)

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