Press Releases

    17 February 2006

    Secretary-General Announces Formation of New High-Level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence in Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance, Environment

    NEW YORK, 16 February (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General today announced the formation of a new, high-level panel to explore how the United Nations system could work more coherently and effectively across the world in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.  The study, which was called for in the Outcome Document adopted by global leaders at the 2005 World Summit in New York, is intended to lay the groundwork for a fundamental restructuring of the United Nations operational work, complementing other major reform initiatives currently under way at the United Nations, including the creation of a new Peacebuilding Commission, negotiations over the establishment of a new Human Rights Council and a proposal for comprehensive management reform that will shortly be unveiled by the Secretary-General.

    The 15 member panel comprises:

    Shaukat Aziz (Co-Chair), Prime Minister, Pakistan

    Gordon Brown, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom, Chancellor of the Exchequer

    Luísa Dias Diogo (Co-Chair), Prime Minister, Mozambique

    Mohamed T. El-Ashry, Egypt, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation, Former Chairman and CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Robert Greenhill, President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Deputy Minister, International Cooperation, Canada

    Ruth Jacoby, Director-General for Development Cooperation, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

    Ricardo Lagos Escobar, President of the Republic of Chile

    Louis Michel, Belgium, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

    Benjamin W. Mkapa, Former President, United Republic of Tanzania

    Jean-Michel Severino, France, Director General, French Development Agency, Former Vice President of the World Bank East Asia and the Pacific

    Josette S. ShinerUnder Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, United States Department of State

    Jens Stoltenberg, (Co-Chair), Prime Minister, Norway

    Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councillors, Liberal Democratic Party, Former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Ex Officio Members

    Kemal Derviş, Turkey, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Former Turkish Finance Minister

    Lennart Båge, Sweden, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

    The Outcome Document calls on the Secretary-General to commission work on how to improve United Nations system-wide coherence across the various development and humanitarian-related agencies.  Responding to that call, this study will examine a range of options on how best to strengthen the coordination of United Nations operational activities world-wide, including, as requested by Member States, the possibility of creating more tightly managed United Nations entities in the fields of the environment, humanitarian assistance and development.  The Secretary-General strongly believes that a fundamental review of these activities is central to the long-term success of the overall United Nations reform process and critical if the United Nations system is to be able to play its role in supporting Member States to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

    The panel is expected to complete its work by the summer, to allow for formal presentation of its recommendations to the next session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2006 and possible implementation in 2007.  The work of the Panel will be supported by a small secretariat based in New York.

    * *** *