Photo: © Gabriela Vilchez/UN Volunteers Peru
Who We Are

United Nations Sustainable Development Group

At the global level, the UNSDG serves as a high-level forum for joint policy formation and decision-making. It guides, supports, tracks and oversees the coordination of development operations in 162 countries and territories.

The UNSDG meets twice a year under the chairmanship of the UNSDG Chair. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, chairs the UNDG on behalf of the UN Secretary-General. The UNDP Administrator, Mr. Achim Steiner, serves as Vice-Chair of the Group. The Development Coordination Office (DCO) serves as the Secretariat of the Group. 

The Group is composed of the executive heads of UNSDG member entities. The UNSDG Vice-chair also convenes the UNSDG Core Group comprised of DESA, FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP, WHO, the rotating chair of the Regional Economic Commissions, and the chairs of the UNSDG Strategic Results Groups. 

The work of the  of the UNSDG is organized under four Strategic Results Groups: 

Strategic Results Group 1: SDG Implementation (DESA & UNDP)
Advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by bringing the UNDS together 

Strategic Results Group 2: Strategic Financing (UNFPA & UNCTAD)
Support the UNSDG transition to a “funding and financing” approach and offer technical support to countries. 

Strategic Results Group 3: Business Innovations (WFP & UNHCR)
Increase value for money in the UN system through transformational changes in management 

Strategic Results Group 4: Strategic Partnerships (UNICEF & ILO)
Allow space for innovation, expand private sector partnerships, and champion open dialogue with stakeholders 
 

DPPA
United Nations Department of Political Affairs
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
IAEA
International Atomic Energy Agency
ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
IFAD
International Fund for Agricultural Development
ILO
International Labor Organization
IMF
International Monetary Fund
IMO
International Maritime Organization
IOM
International Organization for Migration
ITC
International Trade Centre
ITU
International Telecommunications Union
OCHA
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN DESA
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UN ECA
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UN ECLAC
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
UN Environment
United Nations Environment Programme
UN ESCAP
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
UN ESCWA
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
UN PBSO
United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UN-Habitat
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNAIDS
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNCDF
UN Capital Development Fund
UNCTAD
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNECE
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF
United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIDO
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNISDR
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
UNODC
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNOPS
United Nations Office for Project Services
UNRWA
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
UNV
United Nations Volunteers
UNWTO
United Nations World Tourism Organization
UPU
Universal Postal Union
WFP
World Food Programme
WHO
World Health Organization
WIPO
World Intellectual Property Organization
WMO
World Metereological Organization

UNSDG entities (as of August 2019) are:

* Please note Membership confirmation is pending for these six entities: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Civil Aviation Academy (ICAO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and; the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 
† United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), includes the United Nations Capital Development Fund  (UNCDF) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV).
Chair
Amina Mohamed portrait

Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development. 

Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions. 

She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.

Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings.

Vice-Chair
Achim Steiner

Achim Steiner

UNDP Administrator

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 and will serve for a term of four years. The United Nations General Assembly confirmed his nomination on 19 April 2017, following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres.

Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development.

Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy. He was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.

Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Secretariat
The official photo of Robert Piper shows him smiling in front of the UN flag.

Robert Piper

Assistant Secretary-General, Development Coordination Office

Robert Piper of Australia was appointed as the Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination in 2018. Mr. Piper brings to the position nearly 30 years of experience in international development, humanitarian response and peacebuilding at the United Nations. Prior to this, he was the Head of the United Nations Development System Transition Team, which was established to provide strategic leadership and oversight to all aspects of the repositioning of the United Nations development system. Before that, he was Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of External Relations at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr. Piper joined the United Nations in 1990 at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Bangkok.  Since then, he has served the Organization in various capacities, including as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, from 2015 to 2018; United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, from 2013 to 2015; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Nepal, from 2008 to 2013; and for Kosovo between 2002 and 2004.  He has held a number of other key positions with UNDP at Headquarters and in the field, including as inaugural Director for the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund and as Deputy Director for Emergency Response.

Mr. Piper holds an honours degree in political science from the Australian National University and a certificate in French language and literature from the Sorbonne University.  He was selected in 2004 as a World Fellow at Yale University.
 

 
Official Portrait of Giovanie Biha shows her smiling against a solid background.

Giovanie Biha

Deputy Director, Development Coordination Office

Giovanie Biha was appointed Deputy Director of the Development Coordination Office (DCO) in 2019. Before joining DCO she served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (2015 - 2019). Ms. Biha brings to this role more than 25 years of experience in international development, including in strategic operations management and programme coordination; she has earlier worked with UNDP in the field and headquarters at senior level in diverse areas of programme, operations and policy development.  She also brings to this position a strong record of institutional-development and UN reform. Ms. Biha worked with UN Women at its inception stage as the Director of Management. In her home country of Burundi, she has worked with the Central Bank and the private banking sector as Director of operations. 
 

Photo: UNDP Peru/Monica Suarez
UNSDG serves the global community

The Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development

The UN Sustainable Development Group derives its mandate from the Comprehensive Policy Review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, a General Assembly resolution (72/279) that serves as an important instrument for the monitoring and the assessment of UN development operations.

The General Assembly oversees the work of the UNSDG and many of its member entities through its Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee). This committee deals with issues relating to economic growth and development such as macroeconomic policy questions, financing for development, sustainable development, human settlements, poverty eradication, globalization and interdependence, operational activities for development, and information and communication technologies for development.

Through its Second Committee, the General Assembly conducts a Comprehensive Policy Review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system. This resolution responds to the mandate defined by:

  • The General Assembly, which establishes key system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the UN system; and

  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which provides coordination and guidance to the UN system to ensure that those policies are implemented.

Through the Comprehensive Policy Review, the General Assembly provides the formal intergovernmental mandates that guide the work of the UN Sustainable Development Group.

The General Assembly oversees the work of the UNSDG and many of its member entities through its Economic and Financial Committee.