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Who We Are

Photo: © Gabriela Vilchez/UN Volunteers Peru
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 Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, who chairs the UNSDG 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, IOM, OHCHR, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP, WHO and the rotating chair of the Regional Economic Commissions. 

UNSDG entities are: 


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.


Achim Steiner

Achim Steiner

UNDP Administrator

Achim Steiner has been the UNDP Administrator since 2017. 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).


A photo of Oscar Fernández-Taranco shows him smiling in front of a large UN logo.

Oscar Fernández-Taranco

Assistant Secretary-General, Development Coordination Office

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Mr. Oscar Fernández-Taranco of Argentina as Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination in November 2022.

He succeeds Robert Piper of Australia who was appointed as Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement. 

Mr. Fernández-Taranco has over 30 years of experience in the United Nations System, having worked at Headquarters and in the field, managing development, political, peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian operations in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and Europe. 

He was Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination since June 2022. Prior to this, he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Strengthening Programmatic Integration (2021-2022), Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (2014-2021) and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs in the then Department of Political Affairs (2009-2014).  He also served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania. 

He previously served as Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator in the West Bank and Gaza Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (1994-1998), Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director in the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP (2001-2006), and Resident Representative, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti (1998-2001).  He also worked as Country Programme Officer with the United Nations Capital Development Fund and World Food Programme, covering countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.  He started his career in the United Nations as a United Nations Volunteer in Benin. 

Mr. Fernandez-Taranco was educated at Cornell University, where he studied economics, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying urban regional economic planning.  He speaks English, Spanish and French fluently. 


Official photo of Rosemary Kalapurakal, Deputy Director, DCO.

Rosemary Kalapurakal

Deputy Director, Development Coordination Office

Rosemary was appointed DCO Deputy Director in May 2021, after having served ad interim since December 2020, and as its Chief of Policy and Programme for two years. She brings to this role more than 20 years of diverse experience at the UN, spanning policy and programme work as well as strategic management and operations. Previously, she served as the 2030 Agenda Lead Advisor for UNDP in its Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, and as the Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme. She has worked for UNDP in numerous management and policy capacities at HQ and in the field, focused on sustainable development and inclusion. Rosemary holds a doctorate in Business and a master’s degree in economics.

UNSDG serves the global community

A group of indigenous women and girls smile as they hold signs for SDG 5 and 13.
Photo: © UNDP Peru/Monica Suarez

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.