It is a Wrap

The (Mid) Week in Review #1

Every Wednesday and Friday, during the Summer, we will review the main stories of the week, the conferences, seminars, and meetings held under the auspices of the UN and its specialized agencies in Geneva, New York, and its offices around the globe, their outcomes and statements by country-members and other stakeholders.

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This Week the WHO Executive Board is Meeting

Outcome of the 74th World Health Assembly

United States: Statement on Agenda Item 3

The US is Back

*Statement by Colin McIff, Deputy Director, Office of Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the World Health Organization at the 149th Session of the Executive Board Virtual Meeting Geneva, Switzerland, June 2, 2021.

Full statement here

"The United States is committed to a strong WHO and acting on the recommendations received and looks forward to helping lead with other WHO Member States.

Throughout the Assembly, Member States and stakeholders discussed other critical disruptions, such as to food systems and social safety nets, which threaten health, nutrition, and well-being in communities across the world.

As we look ahead to the Nutrition for Growth Summit, the High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS, and more, the United States continues to urge WHO and Member States to engage a wide range of actors at local, national, regional and global levels using a “health-in-all-policies” approach.”

What a difference a Biden administration makes. Instead of “America First” short sighted views we have, in true multilateral spirit, “leading with other member states”.

“The United States is committed to a strong WHO and acting on the recommendations received and looks forward to helping lead with other WHO Member States.”

Germany: Support for a Pandemic Treaty

An idea that will see the light of the day, as coordination is the backbone of a cohesive and swift response. WHO will convene a meeting in September to iron out details.

WHO Takes the Lead

WHO held a press conference with the heads of the IMF, WTO, and World bank to review the state of affairs of the funding, financing, and disbursing the trillions in stimulus packages around the world for economic relief from the COVID19 crisis as well as financing right away the vaccination campaigns in the South.

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In New York (and hybrid bien sur)

Special Session of the General Assembly on Challenges and Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption and Strengthen International Cooperation 2-4 June

The special session of the General Assembly to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation will be held from 2 to 4 June 2021 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

“Corruption threatens the stability and security of societies, undermines public trust and institutions, and jeopardizes sustainable development. It distorts markets, stifles economic growth and diverts funds from public services. While corruption is a global phenomenon, evidence shows that it has a disproportionate impact on certain demographics, in particular poorer communities and the most vulnerable persons. Corrupt practices have a particularly adverse impact on the lives of women, socially, politically and economically, contributing to gender disparity gap.”

In Geneva (and hybrid bien sur)

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Integrity. Facts. Insights. These are our guiding principles.

Maya Plentz, Founder and Editor in Chief

Maya Plentz covers technology and innovation at the United Nations and its agencies, for The UN Brief, a subscription-based news platform, and digital-first news site, and newsletter that reaches diplomats, government officials, UN executives, and technology leaders in the US, the UK, and beyond.

She started her career in business news as a science and technology reporter at Bloomberg TV, in New York City.  Ms. Maya Plentz thrives in fast-paced, data-driven news environments.

At the UN she covered international conferences, including the first gathering of world leaders to discuss the impact of new technologies in society and the economy, the World Summit on the Information Society organized by the UN agency for telecommunications, the International Telecommunications Union, and UNESCO, in 2003.

As an international affairs news producer and editor from 2000 to 2003 in New York City, she presented the UN official daily news bulletins and weekly features, audience reach of 30 million+ a week through partner stations, including BBC World and Radio France International. She covered Security Council meetings, the General Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in NYC, and all UN system specialized agencies including the WHO, FAO, WIPO, WFP, UN Women, UNESCO, UNICEF, and WIPO.

Ms. Maya Plentz also wrote, presented, and produced newscasts for the UN Radio website on the World Sustainable Development Summit, where she managed international teams of news producers, engineers, UX/UI designers, and software developers to deliver broadcast news content and the daily website updates.

In 2016 Ms. Maya Plentz was appointed by the European Commission to the High Level Group of Experts to review the impact of Horizon 2020, the $100 Billion Framework Programme to fund Research and Innovation in the EU, and to make recommendations for the upcoming funding cycle, Horizon Europe.

After a career in the performing arts, she graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science, with a focus on digital media and international relations. Most of her coursework was taken at the  School of International and Public Affairs, and at Columbia Business School. She was greatly influenced by her classes on the “impact of mass media and information and communication technologies on public opinion, public deliberation, political knowledge, and political participation” with Michael Delli Carpini, and her classes on Baroque Art and Architecture with American scholar Joseph Connors, at Columbia University Art History Department.

She also consulted in press relations and was a strategic communications advisor for SaaS, higher education, and consumer tech companies. She also developed international media relations campaigns for QS University Rankings, Florida International University, Miami University Medical School - Miller School of Medicine, and the enterprise software alliance in the South of Brazil, Softsul.

Ms. Maya Plentz led strategic communications in Latin America for the first e-Government tech company that raised $60 Million in the US, from venture capital firms KKR and other Silicon Valley investors. She continues to advise tech startups, enterprise software trade bodies, and is a mentor and member of the selection committee at the tech accelerator and investment fund MassChallenge, for their programs in the US, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and Mexico.

She is a speaker and moderator at tech conferences on new technologies for news media, strategic communications, and women in tech. To invite her to moderate or speak at your conference, or teach a workshop in media training, please get in touch via LinkedIn, Twitter, or

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