The coordinators of the Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development are from the governments of Germany, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea and Romania

Ms. Verena Klinger-Dering, Counsellor for Sustainable Development, German Permanent Mission to the United Nations. She joined the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1992. She worked in different areas ranging from public relations, international nature conservation policy to EU environmental policies. From 2008 to 2012 she was seconded to the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU and has dealt with files amongst others in the area of nature conservation and biodiversity, EU environmental strategies and international environmental agreements. Since September 2012 she works as policy officer in the unit for general, international and European aspects of water management. Her priorities of work are the promotion of international water cooperation and the mainstreaming of water issues into global initiatives and programs, i.e. the promotion of the water-energy and food security nexus in the follow-up process to the Bonn2011 Nexus Conference.

Samuel Victor Makwe is the First Secretary (Desk Officer, 2nd Committee and ECOSOC), Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, New York; His responsibilities include:
Joint-Coordinator of resolution A/RES/73/222 entitled: “promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development”;
Joint Facilitator of resolution 231 entitled: Disaster Risk Reduction;
Agt. Head of 2nd Committee and ECOSOC, Nigeria Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York.

Prior to that, he was First Secretary (Political, Education, and Cultural Affairs), Embassy of Nigeria, Cairo, Egypt and Head of Chancery and Charge d’Affaires (a.i.) within the Embassy. He also was  Human Rights Desk Officer, Second United Nations Division, International Organisations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria and in that position  attended the 29th, 31st, 30th, 32nd, 34th, 33rd, sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Meriem El Hilali is a Diplomatic Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations in New York. She works closely on 2nd Committee topics with a special focus on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, Climate & Environment Action, South-South Cooperation, and Economic related topics.

Before moving to New York, Meriem worked at the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) with the objective to advance the regional euro Meditteranean agenda of cooperation while developing regional initiatives and projects for the socio-economic integration between both shores of the Mediterranean. Her experience at the UfM was a key step to engage with the region’s most urgent needs especially the human/development dimensions and their social and economic triggers. During her works on euro Mediterranean cooperation, Meriem has always given particular attention to cooperation schemes that provide youth & women with a stronger role in society, paving the way for youth empowerment and gender equality.

Meriem had also worked as Vice Consul in Strasbourg on cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Council of Europe, Europe’s leading human rights organization. This institution which is responsible for promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law among its 47 member States has developed a strong Partnership with Morocco, as a  neighboring country in the fields of democracy and local governance.

Meriem is currently a PHD research scholar in Science-Po Strasbourg and a laureate from the Moroccan Academy of Diplomatic Studies. She has obtained a Master in Management Sciences & business administration from Hassan 1st University (Morocco) and she is an alumna of St Antony’s College MENA program (Oxford University).
Prior to joining the Moroccan Diplomatic Corps, Meriem founded and represented several networks of youth active in the fields of entrepreneurship and social innovation, civic engagement and public policy analysis.

Yeongmoo Cho, is currently Counsellor working within the Permanent Mission of Republic of Korea to the UN

Cristina Popescu is currently working within the Permanent Mission of Romania to the UN, as delegate to the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the UN General Assembly and she is in charge of the development portfolio, ECOSOC coordination and the UN Funds and Programs active in the development field.

Her professional contribution is focused on bringing the national and the European vision to the current debate on supporting fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals globally. The UN has to deliver on the 2030 Agenda – the universal framework document setting up 17 SDGs and 169 targets – and the Member States and the UN bodies have to ensure that humanity fully engage on a sustainable and resilient path, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Cristina Popescu had previously worked within the Embassy of Romania to Italy and the Embassy of Romania to the Czech Republic, in charge with the European affairs portfolio, she worked in various political directorates of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania and as an expert within the Department of European Integration, the Government of Romania.

She holds a PhD in Ethics of Conflict Negotiation from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bucharest, a Diplôme d’études approfondies in European Studies from the European Institute of the University of Geneva and a Master in International Relations from the Faculty of Political and Administrative Sciences of the University of Bucharest. She has a diploma in Political Science from the Faculty of Political and Administrative Sciences of the University of Bucharest.



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