G-20 News

SM Tharman appointed to new UN advisory board on multilateralism

SINGAPORE – Chief Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been appointed to a new high-level United Nations advisory board on effective multilateralism.

The 12-member council – made up of world leaders, civil servants and experts – is tasked with making concrete suggestions for more effective multilateral agreements on a range of issues.

Its non-binding recommendations are intended to inform the deliberations of UN member states at a proposed “Future Summit” event to be held in 2023.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the formation of the board in a statement to the media on Friday (March 18).

“The council will be supported in its work by the Center for Policy Research at the United Nations University in close coordination with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General,” the statement said.

Last September, Mr. Guterres called for stronger governance of key issues of global concern in his report, Our Common Agenda, which set out his vision for the future of global cooperation and reinvigorating inclusive multilateralism, networked and efficient.

The report had proposed the Future Summit event to advance ideas for governance arrangements in areas considered global public goods or global commons.

These areas include climate change and sustainable development beyond 2030; the international financial architecture; peace; Cosmos; digital space; major risks; and the interests of future generations.

The new advisory board will be asked to build on the ideas set out in the report.

“I will ask the advisory board to identify global public goods and potentially other areas of common interest where improvements in governance are most needed and to provide options for achieving them,” Mr. Guterres said in the report.

“This should take into account existing institutional and legal arrangements, emerging gaps and priorities or levels of urgency, and the need for equity and justice in global decision-making.”

Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who served as President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, and Mr. Stefan Lofven, who served as Prime Minister of Sweden from 2014 to 2021, will co-chair the board.

Other members include former government officials, economists, academics and researchers from China, Nepal, India, Rwanda, Egypt, Kenya, USA, Brazil and Slovenia.

Mr. Tharman co-chairs the Group of 20 (G-20) High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, the United Nations Human Development Report Advisory Board and the World Education Forum. He is also Chairman of the Group of Thirty, an independent body of global economic and financial leaders.

He previously chaired the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the G-20 Group of Eminent Persons on Global Financial Governance.