Queen Rania Al Abdullah. Andris Piebalgs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Abhijit Banerjee.
These are just four of the 26 luminaries who have been chosen to shape international development cooperation for years to come. They all are members of a high-level panel that will advise U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on a global agenda to replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire in 2015.
The panel, as previously announced, will be co-chaired by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The other members were finally announced this week. They are:
Fulbert Gero Amoussouga, an expert on African economic development and the current head of Benin’s economic analysis unit. He has penned reports for the World Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.N. Development Program, among other leading international and local organizations.
Vanessa Petrelli Corrêa, an economist who leads Brazil’s Institute for Applied Economic Research, the institution in charge of coordinating Brazil’s follow-up to the MDGs.
Yingfan Wang, a seasoned Chinese diplomat who currently serves as part of Ban’s MDG advocacy group. He is also a former vice-minister for foreign affairs and permanent representative of China to the United Nations.
Maria Angela Holguin, Colombia’s foreign minister. She previously worked in the inspector general’s office and serves as permanent representative to the United Nations.
Gisela Alonso, president of the Cuban Agency of Environment and a advocate for sustainable development of small island developing states.
Jean-Michel Severino, former director general of the French Development Agency. He is also a former World Bank official who served as Central Europe director and then vice president for Asia.
Horst Kohler, the former president of Germany who served as managing director of the International Monetary Fund from May 2000 to March 2004 and, prior, as president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister from June 2010 to September 2011. He led the country’s response to the March 2011 earthquake and currently serves as an adviser to Japan’s Technical Committee on Renewable Energy.
Betty Maina, CEO of Kenya’s Association of Manufacturers, one of the largest business associations in this African country.
Patricia Espinosa, a seasoned diplomat who currently serves as Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and previously chief financial officer of Nestle. He is part of the International Council of the World Economic Forum, the World Council for Sustainable Development, and the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce.
Elvira Nabiullina, Russia’s former minister of economic development and trade who currently serves as economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin.
Graça Machel, Nelson Mandela’s wife and member of The Elders. She is an international advocate for children and women’s rights and an independent U.N. expert on the impact of armed conflict on children.
Sung-Hwan Kim, South Korea’s trade and foreign affairs minister.
Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s development minister and a former member of the European Parliament.
Emilia Pires, finance minister of East Timor. In 2010, she headed the so-called G7+ group of fragile and post-conflict countries.
Kadir Topbas, an urban rehabilitation and management expert who serves as the mayor of Istanbul and president of United Cities and Local Governments.
John Podesta, the incumbent chair of the Center for American Progress, a progressive U.S. think tank. Under President Bill Clinton, Podesta served as White House chief of staff and member of the National Security Council.
Tawakel Karman, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning Yemeni journalist, human rights activists and politician. During the recent uprisings in Yemen, she supported the non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to participate fully in peace-building work.
Amina J. Mohammed, Ban’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning, will serve as ex officio member.
The panel is set to hold its first meeting in September and is expected to submit findings — which will inform Ban’s report to member states — in the first half of 2013. The findings are likely to include new development challenges as well as areas for improvement in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.
The panel’s work will be coordinated with that of the intergovernmental working group, which is in-charge of designing a set of sustainable development goals. It is important that both processes are “coherent with each other,” Ban said in a press release — and both will likely inform international development cooperation for years to come.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.