Global Development: UN Names Okonjo-Iweala Member Of 23 High-Level Panel

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has named the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as member of the 23 High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015.

Ban Ki-moon, who disclosed this in a statement in New York on Tuesday, said that 2015 was the target date for achieving the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Others members of the panel are Fulbert Amoussouga of Benin, Vanessa Corrêa of Brazil, Yingfan Wang of China, Maria Holguin of Colombia, Jean-Michel Severino of France, Horst Kohler of Germany, Naoto Kan of Japan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Betty Maina of Kenya and Abhijit Banerjee of India.

AndrisPiebalgs of Latvia, Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, Paul Polman of the Netherlands, Elvira Nabiullina of the Russian Federation, Graça Machel of South Africa, Sung-Hwan Kim of the Republic of Korea, Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden, Emilia Pires of Timor-Leste, Kadir Topbas of Turkey and John Podesta of the U. S.Tawakel

Karmanof Yemen, and the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, will serve in an ex-officio capacity.

He added that the High-level Panels’ three co-chairs are President Susilo Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK.

“I have asked my High-level Panel to prepare a bold, yet practical development vision to present to Member States next year.

“I look forward to the Panel’s recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core,’’ Ban said.

He said that the Panel would hold its first meeting at the end of September in the margins of the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly.

The UN scribe said that the panel was also expected to submit its findings to the Secretary-General in the first half of 2013, and that those findings would inform his report to Member States.

Ban said that the eight MDGs agreed on by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, set specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV and AIDS reduction, and a “Global Partnership for Development’’.

According to a recent study, the 2012 Millennium Development Goals Report progress has been made in some areas with three important targets on poverty, slums and water met three years ahead of 2015.

It added that meeting the remaining targets, while challenging was possible but only if governments do not waiver from their commitments made over a decade ago.

The High-level Panel was part of Ban’s post-2015 initiative, mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit, at which UN Member States took stock of the progress made in achieving the MDGs.

Member States have called for open, inclusive consultations – involving civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system to advance the development agenda beyond 2015.

Ban, however, added that the work of the Panel would reflect new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement.

“The Panel’s work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as agreed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June.’’

—With Agency Reports

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