UN appoints experts to guide development

AP News
Posted: Jul 31, 2012 4:30 PM
UN appoints experts to guide development

The U.N. chief has appointed British Prime Minister David Cameron, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to head a panel of experts advising on ways to promote future global development.

They will head a group of 26 international advisers to recommend plans for global growth and development beyond the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, which are aimed at wiping out extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting women's rights, lowering child mortality, combating disease and protecting the environment.

"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," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.

Among the panel are:

-- John Podesta, co-chair of President Barack Obama's transition team, and chairman of the Center for American Progress. He was White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

-- Sung-Hwan Kim, South Korea's minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

-- Graca Machel, wife of South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela and with him a member of The Elders, global leaders working on peace and human rights issues.

-- Maria Angela Holguin, Colombia's foreign minister.

-- Horst Kohler, former president of Germany.

-- Naoto Kan, former prime minister of Japan.

-- Jordan's Queen Rania.

-- Patricia Espinosa, Mexico's secretary of Foreign Affairs.

-- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's minister of Finance.

The panel will meet in New York at the end of September on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly debate, and is expected to send preliminary recommendations to the U.N. chief by mid-2013.

All 193 member-states and 23 international organizations agreed at a U.N. summit in 2000 to promote the Millennium Development Goals for the year 2015. The adoption of the agenda gave all the parties targets to aim at, though progress on many of the issues has been hampered by global economic recessions.

"Official development assistance fell last year for the first time in more than a decade," Ban said. "We must not allow fiscal austerity to undermine support for poverty reduction and development."


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