Plenary session
Welcome address

In opening remarks for the conference, UNU-WIDER Director Kunal Sen discusses how over the course of the conference speakers will discuss the challenges of achieving SDG16 or 'peace, justice and strong institutions'. Other speakers include UNU-WIDER Senior Research Fellow Patricia Justino and Katja Ahlfors, Director of the Centre for Peace Mediation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and a pre-recorded video address from Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships.


Kunal Sen

Kunal Sen has over three decades of experience in academic and applied development economics research. He is the author of eight books and the editor of five volumes on the economics and political economy of development. From 2019 he is the Director of UNU-WIDER, and he is a professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester.

Johanna Sumuvuori

Johanna Sumuvuori is State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  She has previously been a Member of Parliament and a city councilor and in different kinds of positions of trust. Sumuvuori also has wide experience of communications, culture and civil society organisations. She holds the degrees of Master of Social Sciences and Master of Arts.

Jutta Urpilainen 

As European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen oversees the European Commission’s work on international cooperation. Previously, Ms Urpilainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 2003 to 2019. In 2008, she became the first woman leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. From 2011 to 2014, she served as Finland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. She served as the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation (2017-19).

Patricia Justino

Patricia Justino is a development economist who works at the interface between Development Economics and Political Science. She is a leading expert on political violence and development, and the co-founder and co-director of the Households in Conflict Network. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in Brighton, UK (on leave). Professor Justino’s research focuses on the relationship between political violence, institutional transformation, governance and development outcomes.