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UN touts ‘a green recovery’ from COVID lockdowns – Un urges: ‘Avoid returning to a pre-pandemic pathway, where progress towards important objectives was not rapid enough’

‘Recover Better: Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities’

'Recover Better' launch flyer - final logoLAUNCH EVENT 

9-10:20 a.m. EDT

Please join UN DESA and the United Nations High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs (HLAB) on 22 July 2020 for the launch of the Board’s new volume, “Recover Better: Economic and Social Challenges and Opportunities.” This online dialogue aims to answer these questions:

  • Are we in a recession?
  • What should countries do to recover better?
  • Is a green recovery possible?

The essay compilation “Recover Better” reflects and furthers the discussions HLAB members have had on a wide range of development trends and issues of critical importance to the achievement of the SDGs and the recovery from COVID-19. The insights compiled in the edited volume could help to accelerate action, which is particularly important given that the window of opportunity for attaining the SDGs is closing quickly.

As a follow-up, UN DESA will organize a series of policy dialogues among board members, contributing authors and prominent thinkers that will further inform COVID-19 responses so that countries can build back better and avoid returning to a pre-pandemic pathway, where progress towards important objectives was not rapid enough, or was happening at the cost of significant reversals on others. Taken together, these policy dialogues will enhance the understanding of key underlying trends that must be managed as we design and implement policies for the pandemic response and recovery using the framework of the SDGs.

Please register for the 22 July event here, by 20 July:


About the High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs

The United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs was established in June 2018 to help strengthen the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) in the context of United Nations development system reform, and as a key part of efforts to enhance support to Member States of the United Nations in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The HLAB consists of 16 globally renowned experts in the economic and social policy fields, including former Heads of State, a Nobel Laureate, former Senior Government Officials and intellectual leaders. It has provided guidance to the research and policy analysis work of UN DESA, including topics for its flagship publications. The Board members themselves have played an active role in strengthening the linkage between UN DESA and the global economic and social policy research community,and have promoted UN DESA publications and reports at national and global levels.

The Board also, through its bi-annual meetings, has provided advice to the United Nations on broad economic and social issues, including near-term prospects and risks for the world economy, frontier technologies, inequality, migration, issues associated with countries in special situations, as well as the implications of these issues for multilateralism and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Over the course of the last two years, the HLAB has deliberated on many contemporary and cross-cutting issues and challenges. The interventions and insights of the Board have greatly expanded our understanding of issues of important economic and social significance and inspired the United Nations to break new ground in policy research. The volume “Recovering Better” is envisaged as the legacy of the first HLAB to advancing the sustainable development agenda.


News coverage


Board members

The following people have been appointed for a two-year term on the UN High-level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs:

  • Giancarlo Corsetti, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of Cambridge
  • Cristina Duarte, former Minister of Finance, Planning and Public Administration (2006-2016), Cabo Verde
  • Marcel Fratzscher, President of DIW Berlin
  • Anastasia J. Gage, Professor at the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University
  • Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Merit E. Janow, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Ricardo Lagos, Honorary Chairman of the Inter-American Dialogue; former President of Chile (2000-2006)
  • Justin Yifu Lin, Dean, Institute of New Structural Economics, Professor and Honorary Dean of National School of Development, Peking University
  • José Antonio Ocampo, Member of the Board of Banco de la República (central bank), Colombia, and Professor, Columbia University
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Heizo Takenaka, Professor Emeritus, Keio University, and Professor, Toyo University
  • Izabella Mônica Vieira Teixeira, former Minister of Environment (2010-2016), Brazil
  • Kori Udovički, Head of the Center for Advanced Economic Studies (CEVES)
  • Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization; former President of Mexico (1994-2000)
  • Min Zhu, Chairman, National Institute of Financial Research, Tsinghua University
  • Elliott Harris, UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Economic Development and UN Chief Economist (ex officio member)

Click here for short bios of the Board Members.

Click here for a group photo of the Board Members.