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Top UN development official chooses Myanmar for his first official visit


Myanmar farmers plough the land with buffaloes as they prepare to grow rice ahead of the rainy season in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 07 June 2017. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Myanmar farmers plough the land with buffaloes as they prepare to grow rice ahead of the rainy season in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, 07 June 2017. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Achim Steiner, Chair of the United Nations Development Group and Administrator of the UN Development Programme, will visit Myanmar from August 6 – 8.

This will be Mr. Steiner’s first official visit to a programme country since he assumed his responsibilities as the top UN development official in June 2017.

UNDP is a key development partner in many countries across the world. This visit is an opportunity to listen and learn about the development challenges Myanmar faces and how the UN can support the country in overcoming those challenges.

Mr. Steiner will gain a deeper understanding of how the development system and UNDP work in Myanmar and explore the relevance of Agenda 2030 in that context.

Mr. Steiner will meet the State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as well as other senior government Ministers in Nay Pyi Taw on August 8.

On August 7, Mr. Steiner will address students at the University of Yangon on the role of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in building a better future for Myanmar.

Mr. Steiner will be accompanied by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Renata Lok-Dessallien.

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. 

As UNDP Administrator, Mr. Steiner also chairs the UN Development Group, which unites the 32 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other bodies 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, 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).

Achim Steiner was born in Brazil and holds Brazilian and German nationality.

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