Tharman to co-chair advisory board of UN report focusing on inequality

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will co-chair the board with Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will co-chair the board with Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will co-chair the 2019 Human Development Report's (HDR) advisory board when it meets in Paris next Tuesday (May 28).

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced on Wednesday (May 22) that Mr Tharman will co-chair the board with Professor Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences.

The French economist is co-director of the World Inequality Lab, and is well-known for his best-selling book, Capital In The Twenty-First Century, in which he surmised that inherited wealth grows faster than earned wealth, leading to unsustainable levels of inequality.

The board's meeting is a key event in the lead-up to the release of the report on inequality, towards the end of the year.

"The role of the advisory board is to provide intellectual advice and guidance to the Human Development Report Office on the overall vision, direction and messages of the HDRs," said the UNDP.

This year's HDR will focus on understanding the dimensions of inequality most important to people's well-being and what is behind them, and will use a new framework to provide a comprehensive global analysis of inequality.

Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, said in a Twitter post: "Glad to contribute to the new Human Devt Report with this international panel, who each bring distinct experiences and insights. To look at inequality through comprehensive lens: 'beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today'."

He will be joined by other government officials, academics and leading global development experts.

Correction note: The date of UNDP's announcement has been updated for accuracy.