United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination, Robert Piper, announced as keynote speaker at ACFID Conference 2021

14 Sep, 2021

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is delighted to announce that Robert Piper, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Coordination Office will be joining ACFID Conference 2021 as a keynote speaker.  Mr. Piper will be addressing Conference with over 30 years of experience in the sector, including work in international development, humanitarian response, and peacebuilding.

Mr Piper began his career in development through AusAID, the Australian government aid agency. In 1990, he joined the United Nations and worked in a number of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects across Thailand, Cambodia and Fiji. Within the UNDP, Mr. Piper served in several key roles, before becoming Development Coordinator and Resident Representative in Kosovo, in 2002.

Following the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Mr. Piper was asked by former US President Bill Clinton to serve on his chief of staff in tsunami recovery. Subsequent roles for Mr. Piper include Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal from 2008 to 2013; Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel from 2013 to 2015; Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory from 2015 to 2018; Director for the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund; and Deputy Director for Emergency Response.

Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID, stated that

‘Mr Piper’s work within the humanitarian development sector is unparalleled. His efforts, spread across a variety of countries, cultures and peoples, are an acute example of what ACFID stands for, in creating an equitable, sustainable and just world.

We are delighted and honoured to have Mr. Piper as a keynote speaker, where he will undoubtedly deliver critical insights into his lived experience in international development and humanitarian assistance and will speak to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.’

Mr. Piper will present his keynote address amidst a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where many Australian NGOs and ACFID members have been responding, the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, and a global pandemic that has deepened inequalities within and between countries.

Mr. Piper describes himself as an ‘incorrigible idealist’, who is passionate about sustainable development and French language and literature. He holds an honours degree in political science from the Australian National University and was selected as a World Fellow at Yale University in 2004.

To find out more and register, visit the conference website.