In view of the UN Development System transformation currently underway, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has appointed an Eminent Persons Advisory Group to identify strategic policy areas and further enhance the regional commission’s focus to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Eminent Persons Advisory Group includes Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, former Director General of WTO, former Secretary-General of UNCTAD and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Royal Thai Government; Mr. Vijay Nambiar, former Chef de Cabinet and UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, and former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of India to the UN; Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, Member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation and former Executive Secretary of ESCAP; Mr. Oh Joon, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and Seventy-first President of ECOSOC; and Ms. Andie Fong Toy, former Deputy Secretary General (Economic Governance and Security), Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Mr. Anis Chowdhury, Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales and Western Sydney University, and former Director of ESCAP and UN DESA, will act as rapporteur to the Eminent Persons Advisory Group.

The members represent all sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific with a vast wealth of experience, expertise, and commitment to regional cooperation and sustainable development. An advisor from Central Asia has also been identified.

The Advisory Group will advise ESCAP on an array of issues, including the medium to long-term strategic reposition framework of the regional commission and key priorities for the UN Development System Reform. The Group will also identify thematic areas in line with global and regional sustainable development challenges to better align ESCAP’s programme of work. In addition, the Group will provide recommendations on ways for ESCAP to enhance engagement with member States and other stakeholders.

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