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Economist Abhijit Banerjee in UN development panel

United Nations: Indian economist Abhijit Banerjee is among the 26 people who have been named by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as members of a high-level panel to advise the world body on the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The panel will be co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Abhijit Banerjee has been inducted into a panel for global development by UN General Secy Ban Ki-moon. Image credit: Justin Knight for Forbes India

Banerjee is currently the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003, he co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Banerjee is a former president of the Bureau for the Research in the Economic Analysis of Development.

"I have asked my high-level panel to prepare a bold yet practical development vision to present to member states next year," Ban said. "I look forward to the panel's recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core."

Other members of the panel include President of Brazil's Institute for Applied Economic Research Vanessa Petrelli Corrêa, member of the Secretary- General’s MDG Advocacy Group Yingfan Wang, Japan's former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Queen Rania of Jordan, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever Paul
Polman and Economic Adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Elvira Nabiullina.

The panel would hold its first meeting at the end of September in the margins of the annual high-level debate of the UN General Assembly. It is expected to submit a report to the Secretary-General in the first half of 2013. The panel is
part of the Secretary-General's post-2015 initiative mandated by the 2010 MDG Summit.

Member states have called for open, inclusive consultations involving civil society, the private sector, academia and research institutions from all regions, in addition to the UN system, to advance the development agenda beyond 2015.

The work of the panel will reflect new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the MDGs, both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement.

The panel's work will be closely coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group tasked to design Sustainable Development Goals, as agreed at the Rio+20 conference.

PTI