4 October 2007
Economic and Social Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Economic and Social Council

2007 Substantive Session

48th Meeting (AM)



Elects Members To Narcotics, Sustainable Development Commissions

The Economic and Social Council resumed its 2007 substantive session this morning, adopting proposals on matters deferred from its main meeting in Geneva (2-27 July), including the multi-year programme of work for the newly mandated Annual Ministerial Review and the election of members to some of the Council’s subsidiary bodies.

For 2008, the Council decided that the Ministerial Review would focus on implementation of internationally agreed goals and commitments related to sustainable development.  In 2009, the focus would be on implementing the agreed global public health goals. 

The Annual Ministerial Review is one of two functions mandated to the Council by the Heads of State and Government at the 2005 World Summit as a vehicle for meeting the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date.  The first review (3-4 July, Geneva) focused on “strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including through the global partnership for development”.

Participants in the first review had included States, United Nations representatives, civil society organizations, the private sector and academia.  The development strategies of six developing countries –- Bangladesh, Barbados, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Ethiopia and Ghana -- had been considered.

After adoption today of the themes for 2008 and 2009, Portugal’s representative, on behalf of the European Union, said the topics provided a predictable and solid basis for future reviews.  The United States’ speaker agreed, adding that the decision provided much needed certainty about the themes.  He called on the Secretariat to begin its work.  Pakistan, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the proposal had reflected the results of good informal discussions on the matter.

In the area of public administration and development, the Council had before it the report of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration on its sixth session ( New York, 10-13 April) (document E/2006/44).  A draft resolution contained in the report was adopted, as orally amended by the representative of Canada, in which language was updated to reflect the latest usage in the area of information technology.  By the resolution, the Council approved the convening of the Committee’s seventh session from 14 to 18 April 2008, as well as the session’s provisional agenda, which included capacity-building for development and a compendium for United Nations terminology.

The Council next took up the report of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (document E/2006/45) at its second session held in Geneva from 30 October to 3 November 2006, adopting the related draft resolution.  By so doing, the Council requested the Secretary-General to prepare a comprehensive report addressing the financing of the work of the Committee.  Also by the draft, the Council decided that the Committee’s third session would be convened in Geneva from 29 October to 2 November.

The Council then turned its attention to the report of the United Nations Forum on Forests (document E/2007/42), which summarized the proceedings of its seventh session, held in New York from 24 February 2006 and 16-27 April 2007.  Action on a resolution, in the report, on a non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests was deferred, as was adoption of the report as a whole. 

However, two other decisions in the report on forests were adopted.  By the first, the Council decided that the officers elected to the Forum’s bureau would serve two-year terms.  By the second, it decided that the Forum’s eighth session would be held from 20 April to 1 May, 2009.  Pakistan’s representative drew members’ attention to a draft decision she had circulated on support to the Forum’s bureau in preparing for future sessions of the Forum.

Also today, the Council took note of the report of the Seventeenth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific (document E/CONF.97/7).  With that, the Council endorsed the Conference recommendation that the eighteenth conference would be convened for five days in 2009.

Then, as part of its mandate on implementing and conducting follow-ups to major United Nations conferences and summits, the Council took note of a report by the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) transmitting the report of the Committee on World Food Security (document E/2007/74).

Finally, this morning, the Council, by acclamation, elected Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for four- year terms, beginning on 1 January 2008.  The Democratic Republic of the Congo was also elected by acclamation to the Commission on Sustainable Development for a three-year term beginning in 2008.  The Council postponed a decision to elect a member to that Commission from the Western European and Other States Group.

Further, the Council, by acclamation, elected Brazil, Congo, Israel and Jamaica to the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for four-year terms, also beginning on 1 January 2008.  Postponed again this morning was the election to the Governing Council of a member from the Asian States Group and two from the Western European and Other States Group.

The Council will resume its session again to take up remaining issues on a date to be announced.

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For information media • not an official record