United Nations, 26 September 2017 – H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations announced that he has formed a new Team of External Advisors.

Their role will be to advise him on how best to advance his priorities for the General Assembly’s 72nd session. Those priorities include mediation, conflict prevention and sustaining peace; migration; implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on climate change; human rights and human dignity; and the future and reform of the United Nations.

The first meeting of the Team of External Advisors will take place in New York on 6 October. It will include a discussion on a wide range of global political issues, impressions of the General Assembly’s recently concluded high-level week, the messages emanating from the General Debate and principal international challenges ahead.

The list presently consists of 15 eminent personalities from all United Nations regional groups. As responses are still expected from some esteemed personalities, the list is not final and may be expanded at a later date.

The current list is as follows:

  • Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Ambassador of Brazil to Italy, former Foreign Minister of Brazil, former Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations
  • Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya
  • Carl Bildt, Co-chair of the Board of Trustees of the European Council on Foreign Relations, former Prime Minister of Sweden, former Foreign Minister of Sweden
  • Carlos Lopes, Professor, University of Cape Town, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 
  • Francisco José Pereira Pinto de Balsemão, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Group IMPRESA, former Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Igor Ivanov, President of the Russian International Affairs Council, former Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation
  • Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, former Member of Parliament
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • José Ramos-Horta, Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, former President of Timor-Leste, Nobel Peace Laureate
  • Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, former special assistant to the President of the United States and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House
  • Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, former Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations
  • Marty Natalegawa, Distinguished Fellow, Asia Society Policy Institute, former Foreign Minister of Indonesia
  • Nik Gowing, Co-Author, ‘Thinking the Unthinkable’
  • Susana Malcorra, Advisor to the President of Argentina, former Foreign Minister of Argentina, former Chef de Cabinet of the United Nations Secretary-General
  • Nabil Fahmy, Dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and former Foreign Minister of Egypt [updated: 6 October 2017]


For more information and media inquiries, please contact:

Brenden Varma, Spokesperson for the President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly, +1-212-963-7238, varmab@un.org

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