18 May 2008
Mr. Nitin Desai, a former Under Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations in New York, has joined the Advisory Board of IDEAcarbon. He says that: “I have joined the IDEAcarbon Advisory Board because I believe that a global carbon market is the key that will open many opportunities for preventing catastrophic climate change. I am particularly interested in the work on rating of potential carbon credits as that will help in price discovery and deepen the market.”
Mr. Desai has had a long and distinguished career in the Government of India and the United Nations. He has also worked for some time in private industry and taught at two UK Universities.
In the Government of India Mr. Desai worked at senior levels in the Planning Commission from 1973 to 1987. From 1988 to 1990 he was the Chief Economic Adviser and Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance. Most recently he was asked by the Planning Commission to chair a Committee on Venture Capital and Technology Innovation. Mr. Desai is also the Indian co-chair with Lord Chris Patten of the Indo-UK Roundtable set up by the two governments. He is a member of the Council on Climate Change chaired by the Prime Minister.
Mr. Desai’s international involvement has been most prominent in the development and promotion of sustainable development as the goal of policy, first as Senior Adviser and key draftsman for “Our Common Future”, the Report of the Brundtland Commission on Environment and Development and then as Deputy Secretary-General for the Rio Earth Summit, the manager of the Commission on Sustainable Development for its first decade and as the Secretary General for the Johannesburg Summit. He was also responsible for the organisation of the Copenhagen Summit on Social Development, the Monterrey Summit on Finance for Development and many other global events.
At present Mr. Desai is a Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for Internet governance and chairs the Advisory Group that organizes the annual UN Internet Governance Forum. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. In India he is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). He is also actively connected with several NGOs, and writes a monthly column for the Business Standard, an Indian daily.