Annan to convene high-level panel to study private investment in development

23 July 2003

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is set to launch a high-level commission to analyze and evaluate key factors that inhibit the private sector from playing a stronger role in development.

“The Commission was created as a direct response to the growing notion that achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the meeting of the challenges facing humanity can only occur if the private sector is involved,” Mr. Annan said of the panel to be launched Friday at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Its main purpose is to develop strategic recommendations on how to promote a strong, indigenous private sector in developing countries, and to initiate concrete programmes with the highest potential impact in private sector development,” added Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and convener of the Commission.

Co-chaired by Canada’s former Finance Minister, Paul Martin, and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, the group of experts is expected to report to the Secretary-General by the end of the year with concrete policy recommendations for countries and multilateral development agencies, according UNDP.

Mr. Annan noted that the decision by such prominent persons to co-chair the Commission “sends an important signal of their recognition of the role that the private sector is playing as the key engine of growth in developing countries.”

The Commission includes top-ranking individuals from the private sector, political and academic spheres.