UN Legal Identity Expert Group


To operationalize the decision of the Secretary-General's Executive Committee, at the request of Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina Mohammed, a time-bound inter-agency group — UN Legal Identity Expert Group (UN LIEG) was established in September 2018 under the purview of the UN Sustainable Development Group's Strategic Results Group on SDG Implementation, to form a united UN.

The memo to the DSG signed 10 September 2018 by Mr. Zhenmin Liu from DESA, Ms. Henrietta Fore from UNICEF, and Mr. Achim Steiner from UNDP. The group is co-chaired by three directors from respective partners: Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, DESA, Mr Ted Chaiban, UNICEF and Mr. Patrick Keuleers, UNDP


UN LIEG's main aim is to backstop the DSG activities in her role of co-chair of the Identity for Development (ID4D) , a World Bank initiative, and to form a united UN front.

The purpose of the group is to establish unified UN position in reference to the lifecycle approach to legal identity by promoting the holistic model of civil registration, vital statistics and identity management both at the normative level and on the ground.

The substantive focus of the LIEG is an emphasis on building legal identity systems founded on civil registration from birth to death, and with a human rights approach.

The LIEG is tasked with developing instruments, and supporting efforts to strengthen coordination of the UN response to the issue of legal identity, building on existing civil registration and vital statistics international standards, emerging legal identity best practice guidance, regional and national strategies, the work of the World Bank's ID4D initiative, as well as the work of the Inter-Agency Working Group to Address Statelessness.


The LIEG is co-chaired by DESA, UNDP and UNICEF and composed of 17 UN agencies who are active in the role of legal identity, civil registration and vital statistics.

Agency Website Link
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs UNDESA website
The United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF website
United Nations Development Programme UNDP website
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa UNECA website
World Food Programme WFP website
United Nations Population Fund UNFPA website
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR website
Development Coordination Office DCO website
International Organization for Migration IOM website
International Telecommunication Union ITU website
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights OHCHR website
UN Women website
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC website
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific UNESCAP website
World Health Organization WHO website
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA website
UN Global Pulse website

Four Pillars

The first formal meeting of the UNLIEG took place on 28 September 2018. Since then LIEG met once a month the monitor the progress of the work. In terms of funding, UNDP was instrument The LIEG focuses on four key pillars of work:

  • 1. A coordinated approach for implementation
  • 2. Strengthened for action
  • 3. Enhanced high-level advocacy and engagement
  • 4. Technical support and financing country implementation