DESA Announces 16 Members of High-level Advisory Board
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The UN High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs has been established in follow-up to a request from the UN Secretary-General as part of the process to reposition the UN development system.

The 16 members of the HLAB are appointed for a two-year term.

21 June 2018: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs announced the membership of the UN High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, which was established following a request from the UN Secretary-General as part of reforms to the UN development system.

The 16 members of the HLAB include former heads of state (Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and former President of Mexico, and Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile), former ministers (Cristina Duarte, former Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration, Cape Verde, and Izabella Mônica Vieira Teixeira, former Minister of Environment, Brazil), an expert in public health (Anastasia J. Gage, Tulane University), and experts in economics including Jayati Ghosh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and José Antonio Ocampo, Merit Janow, Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University. The members are appointed for a two-year term.

DESA notes that the HLAB’s establishment is part of efforts to enhance the UN’s support to Member States in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Board will aim to help DESA in its work to strengthen the UN’s “thought leadership on sustainable development” as outlined in the December 2017 report of the Secretary-General titled, ‘Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: Ensuring a Better Future for All’.

The report notes that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked DESA to strengthen and better align its work streams that provide support to intergovernmental processes for the review and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) on financing for development (FfD), and to “step up its capacities” in policy analysis and knowledge production. According to the report, the goal of this process is for DESA to reassert its role “at the forefront of sustainable development policy at the global level” and better support Member States.

DESA was expected to report to the UN Secretary-General in the first quarter of 2018 on the outcome of this review, after which he intended to update Member States on the direction of DESA’s reform.

The HLAB is scheduled to meet twice a year, beginning with its first meeting from 9-10 July 2018. [DESA News] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on report of Secretary-General]


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