Strengthening DESA’s capacity for policy analysis and knowledge production:
support to the High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs

Implementing Entity/ies
Apr. 2018 - Apr. 2020
Approved Budget
$ 830,153
The project's aim is the establishment of a High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs to help DESA meeting the Secretary-General’s call to reassert its role at the forefront of sustainable development policy at the global level.


First Meeting of the High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs, New York 9-10 July 2018

High-Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs

Sixteen globally renowned experts in the economic and social policy fields, including former Heads of State, Nobel Laurate, former Senior Government Officials and intellectual leaders, will join the first meeting of the UN High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, in New York on 9-10 July 2018.

The establishment of the HLAB is an integral part of the broad efforts by senior management of the United Nations to reposition the organization in its support to Member States’ efforts to implement the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Board – scheduled to meet twice a year – will help UN DESA advance its critical role in strengthening the United Nations thought leadership on sustainable development – a role envisioned by the Secretary-General in his report “Repositioning the UN development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: Ensuring a Better Future for All”.

The Board will provide advice to the United Nations on broad economic and social issues, including frontier and emerging issues, issues associated with countries in special situation, as well as the implications of these issues for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The HLAB is also expected to make suggestions for the research and policy analysis work of UN DESA, including topics for its flagship publications. The Board members will play an active role in strengthening the linkage between UN DESA and the global economic and social policy research community and promote UN DESA publications and reports at national and global levels.

HLAB meetings

Board Membership

Following Members of the Board have been appointed for a two-year term:

  • Giancarlo Corsetti, Professor of Macroeconomics at University of Cambridge
  • Cristina Duarte, former Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration (2006-2016), Cape Verde
  • Marcel Fratzscher, President of DIW Berlin
  • Anastasia J. Gage, Professor at the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
  • Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Merit E. Janow, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Ricardo Lagos, Honorary Chairman of the Interamerican Dialogue; former President of Chile (2000-2006)
  • Justin Yifu Lin, Dean, Institute of New Structural Economics, Professor and Honorary Dean of National School of Development at Peking University
  • José Antonio Ocampo, Member of the Board of Banco de la República (central bank), Colombia and Professor, Columbia University
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Heizo Takenaka, Professor Emeritus, Keio University and Professor, Toyo University
  • Izabella Mônica Vieira Teixeira, former Minister of Environment (2010-2016), Brazil
  • Kori Udovički, Head of Center for Advanced Economic Studies (CEVES)
  • Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; former President of Mexico (1994-2000)
  • Min Zhu, Chairman, National Institute of Financial Research, Tsinghua university
  • Elliot Harris, ASG for Economic Development and Un Chief Economist (Ex Officio member)