UN DESA | DPAD | Development Policy Analysis Division
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The Committee for Development Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Committee for Development Policy (CDP)?
The CDP is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). It is composed of 24 independent experts serving in their personal capacity.
What does the CDP do?
The CDP provides independent analysis and advice to ECOSOC on emerging cross-sectoral development issues and on international cooperation for development, focusing on medium- and long-term aspects. It also conducts the review of the list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
How does the CDP work?
CDP members and the secretariat prepare relevant background reports on agreed topics to be discussed at the annual plenary meeting (see next question), which usually takes place in March or April. At plenary, these studies are reviewed by the entire membership and the Committee drafts its own report on the main conclusions and policy recommendations emanating from this exchange of ideas. The report is subsequently submitted to the Council at its substantive session in July and is also disseminated among the development community.
What themes does the CDP address?
Each year, ECOSOC advises the Committee about the theme(s) that the Committee should consider at its annual session. The General Assembly, the Secretary-General and the subsidiary bodies of ECOSOC can also propose, through the Council, issues for consideration by the Committee. In addition, the Committee itself often provides more general advice to ECOSOC on emerging critical issues on the international development agenda. The Committee is also responsible for undertaking the triennial review of the list of LDCs.
What are the themes that the CDP considered in recent years?
As a contribution to the deliberations at the high-level segment of the ECOSOC, the Committee has addressed the following topics: the role of science, technology and innovation: productive capacity and employment; quality education for all; gender and global crises; global public health, among others. Additionally, the Committee has examined the following themes: United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; strengthening international support measures for LDCs; migration and development; the worsening global outlook and its implications for developing countries; the international development agenda and the climate change challenge.
What are the main outputs of the CDP?
The main outputs of the CDP are: its annual report to the ECOSOC, the CDP Policy Note (a sales publication), and the CDP Background Paper Series.
How are the members selected?
The 24 members of the Committee are nominated by the United Nations Secretary-General in their personal capacity, and are appointed by the Council for a period of three years. In making his recommendations the Secretary-General also aims to achieve an adequate mix of relevant expertise (see below) as well as geographical and gender balance.
Who are the members?
The Committee comprises independent experts with a mix of expertise, who are drawn from reputable and distinguished professionals in the fields of economic development, social development and environmental protection. Membership is geared to include those who have demonstrated ability to contribute on emerging issues and to the multilateral process.
How has the CDP evolved?
In 1965, the Committee was originally established as the Committee for Development Planning, a subsidiary body of the ECOSOC. The original terms of reference were modified in 1998 order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its work programme and coordination process with the Council. At that occasion the CDP was renamed Committee for Development Policy. These changes were part of the reforms undertaken for restructuring and revitalization of the UN in the economic, social and related fields.
What is the CDP Secretariat?
The CDP Secretariat provides substantive and administrative support to the work of CDP, acts as interface between the CDP and the UN system and the public at large and disseminates the work of the Committee. It is located in the Development Policy and Analysis Division of UN DESA.
What are the least developed countries (LDCs)?
LDCs are developing countries suffering from severe structural impediments to sustainable development. Currently, the designation of countries as LDCs depends on predetermined threshold values of three main criteria: (a) gross national income (GNI) per capita; (b) the human asset index (HAI); (c) the economic vulnerability index (EVI). In addition, low income countries with population larger than 75 million inhabitants are not eligible to be considered for inclusion.