UN lead economists gathered at the Inaugural UN Lead Economists’ Conference on 30 June 2010 at UN headquarters in New York with the agenda to promote collaboration and enhance coherence in UN economic analytical work and policy advice.
Emphasizing the importance of coherence in the analytical and policy advice work within the UN , Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang said: “In the weeks and months ahead, you will better familiarize yourself with one another’s work” in order to enhance collaboration in analytical work, reduce redundancies and build synergies, identify emerging development policy challenges, as well as develop a UN system-wide policy advisory network.
“Our analysis has been considered closer and more relevant to reality…because we have been impartial, objective; we do not have an agenda” and “economics is an academic discipline but the economy is a reality. It is practice”, Mr. Sha said. He underlined the benefits of better utilizing and sharing the work of fellow economists to develop quality analytical and policy relevant research output, especially in the current global economic landscape, characterized by economic and development crises.
While observing that the UN has a rich history in leading debates and setting norms in almost all areas of economics, Mr. Jomo, the Under Secretary-General for Economic Development, noted that on most critical issues, the UN economists have been ahead of the curve. Yet UN’s role has been marginalized since the 1970s. The on-going economic and development crisis provides an opportunity to restore the UN’s standing and role in development and economics
Participants expressed their serious interest in the network and underscored the need for greater coherence, coordination and collaboration, especially in preparing their respective agency’s major publications. They also agreed to enhance policy advice on national development strategies and macroeconomic options for Member States by sharing expertise and financial and analytical resources.
The UN Economists planned to meet again in Geneva within the next year and to continue to communicate and collaborate within the UN system to promote and encourage quality analytical and policy documents. This will enhance coherence and strengthen the United Nation’s ability to deliver as one.
Mr. Robert Vos, Director of the Development and Policy Analysis Division assisted by Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, Senior Economic Affairs Officer in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, had the overall responsibility to organize the conference.