Sanjay Reddy on the UN Development System

WIDER Seminar Series

Sanjay Reddy on the UN Development System

Sanjay Reddy presented at UNU-WIDER on Wednesday 23 June. 

Abstract – The UN’s Development Function: Time for Renewal

The United Nations’ development function is vital to its purpose. Although the UN has many outstanding development achievements to its credit, its development related organizations do not meet their full potential. They often do not work together, choose priorities that are well funded over those that have strategic potential, and fail to challenge or to shape development priorities and ways of thinking defined elsewhere. The UN should focus on activities to which its unique characteristics make it best suited and undertake changes that enable it better to act boldly, for example by acting as a convener of unruly but productive debates and by being a truthteller rather than a score keeper. The current process of reforming the governance of the UN’s development function holds promise, even in the present difficult political conditions, but is a mere beginning.

About the speaker

Sanjay Reddy was a Member of the Independent Team of Advisors to the Economic and Social Council in support of the 'ECOSOC Dialogue on the longer term positioning of the UN development system in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development' (2016), co-chaired by Klaus Töpfer and Juan Somavia; the first-ever instance of an expert group commissioned to advise the ECOSOC, which provided the basis of what Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed has referred to as the 'biggest reform transformation of the UN Development System in history' affecting the governance of more than forty UN development-related organizations and of the United Nations as a whole.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

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