In accordance with General Assembly Resolution 74/231 of 24 January 2020 entitled “Development cooperation with middle-income countries’’, the President of the General Assembly will convene a High-level Meeting on Middle-Income Countries on 17 June 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., and on 2 July 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall, at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that middle-income countries (MICs) face significant challenges to achieve sustainable development, as they are home to 62% of the global poor. The pandemic has made these challenges even more acute.

The high-level meeting is being held under the theme “Finetuning the development system approach to address the needs of middle-income countries” and organized to take stock of the current landscape for MICs in discussing the progress on issues identified in the Summary of the 2018 UNGA High-Level Meeting on MICs, and the report A/74/269 of the Secretary General entitled “Development cooperation with middle-income countries”. The discussions will also address the current socio-economic fallout from the pandemic and how it has underlined and exacerbated existing fragilities, with severe consequences for achieving the SDGs.

[UPDATE] The plenary segment, which was originally scheduled for Friday, 18 June 2021 has been postponed and will now be held on Friday, 2 July 2021 at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 


The first day on 17 June will comprise an opening segment with a stocktaking component followed by three interactive panels, addressing key aspects of the gaps and challenges of middle-income countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The interactive panels will focus on the economic dimension of sustainable development, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the required support to middle-income countries from the UN Development System, as well as the global economic ecosystem including international financial institutions and the private sector. The morning on 2 July will be dedicated to a high-level plenary segment and the closing segment.

The biographies for participants in the stocktaking segment and the three panels are available here.  

17 June 2021
10:00-11:00 am
Opening Segment 

H.E. Volkan Bozkir, President of the General Assembly
H.E. Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
H.E. Mr. Munir Akram, President of the Economic and Social Council

Stocktaking Segment 


Alicia Barcena

Executive Secretary, ECLAC 
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Elliott Harris

Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development & Chief Economist, UN DESA

Ana Patricia Munoz

Southern Voice Network,
Executive Director, Grupo FARO
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Lysa John

Secretary General, CIVICUS (Moderator)

11:00 -12:00 am
Interactive Dialogue I: Tackling the Structural Gaps

MICs as a group face structural gaps, incomplete institutional processes and socio-economic disparities that constrain their development and efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda. The dialogue will focus on addressing the priority issues preventing progress, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the middle-income trap. The use of a Vulnerability Index, complementing the use of multidimensional measures of poverty and development will be discussed, and their use in identifying priority areas for policy and structural change explored.

Elliott Harris

Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development & Chief Economist, UN DESA (Moderator)

Li Yong

Director General, UNIDO

The Honorable Marsha Caddle

M.P. and Minister
in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Barbados

Pamela Coke-Hamilton

Executive Director,
International Trade Center

12:00 -1:00 pm
Interactive Dialogue II: The UN Development System – new needs, new tools, new mechanisms to recover better

For the purpose of analyzing the support that the UN Development System can give to MICs, a revision of the concept of development used to channel cooperation re-sources to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth is in order. Deliberations on the merits of developing a framework of support to MICs will be facilitated.


Achim Steiner

Administrator, UNDP

Julien Harneis

UN Resident and Humanitarian
Coordinator in Pakistan

Philippe Isler

Executive Director, Global
Alliance for Trade Facilitation

Sherwin Bryce-Pease

UN Bureau
Chief, South Africa Broadcast Cooperation (Moderator)

3:00-4:30 pm
Interactive Dialogue III (Part 1): Financial Ecosystem – Trade and Debt

With enhancements of the correct incentives and the deliberate creation of facilities or mechanisms, the global financial ecosystem, its main institutions, and the private sector can be more effectively mobilized to support the necessary sustainable investments for the SDGs in MICs. The dialogue will address what is needed to attract private finance at the necessary scale into MICs. Additionally, the dialogue aims to identify instruments and concrete actions for resilient, inclusive, sustainable and connected recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and discussing financing issues, including debt, access to official financing flows for development, private investment and initiatives.


Jeromin Zettelmeyer

Deputy Director, Strategy
Policy and Review Department, IMF

Marcello Estevao

Global Director,
Macroeconomics Trade and Investment, Global
Practice, World Bank

Jean-Marie Paugam

Deputy Director General,
World Trade Organization

Isabelle Durant

Acting Secretary-General, UNCTAD

Robin Ogilvy

Representative to the United Nations, OECD (Moderator)

4:30-6:00 pm
Interactive Dialogue III (Part 2): Financial Ecosystem – Financing the 2030 Agenda


Richard Martinez Alvarado

Vice President for
Countries, IADB

Anne Simpson

Managing Investment Director
for Board Governance and Sustainability, CalPERS

Sonja Gibbs

Managing Director and Head of
Sustainable Finance, Global Policy Initiatives,

Preeti Sinha

Executive Secretary, United
Nations Capital Development Fund

Navid Hanif

Director, Financing for Sustainable
Development Office, UN DESA

Robin Ogilvy

Representative to the United Nations, OECD (Moderator)

2 July
10:00 am -1:00 pm
Plenary Segment

National perspectives, lessons learnt, and best practices

Summary of the President of the General Assembly