26 April 2012
Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6508

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

Economic and Social Council

2012 Organizational Session

10th Meeting (AM)


Economic and Social Council Fills Vacancies in 20 Subsidiary Bodies,

 

Adopts Decisions on Themes, Formatting for 2012 Substantive Session

 


Resuming its 2012 organizational session, the Economic and Social Council filled vacancies in 20 of its subsidiary bodies and adopted themes for some items of its upcoming substantive session.  It also postponed until Friday afternoon elections for a member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.


In the first order of business, the 54-Member Council elected by acclamation Fernando Arias of Spain as its Vice-President, replacing Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, also of Spain, who recently relinquished his post.


The Council then adopted by consensus three draft decisions on themes for its 2012 substantive session.  By way of the first draft, it established “regional perspectives on youth and development” as the theme for its agenda item on regional cooperation.  The second decision set “working in partnership to strengthen coordination of humanitarian assistance in a changing world” as the theme for its humanitarian affairs segment, and decided that two panels would be held in conjunction, including one on “improving capacities for evidence-based humanitarian decision-making” and another on “partnerships for effective humanitarian assistance in support of national, regional and international efforts”.


The third decision established that the title of the event to discuss the transition from relief to development would be “humanitarian needs in the Sahel and the importance of building resilience” and that it would comprise one informal panel discussion on 18 July, with no negotiated outcome.


The Council then turned to the Statistical Commission, electing the following five members, by acclamation, to four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013:  China and Japan (Asia-Pacific States); Bulgaria (Eastern European States); and Germany and United Kingdom (Western European and other States).  It also elected Barbados and Dominican Republic (Latin American and Caribbean States) by secret ballot for the same term.  In the absence of a third candidate from Western European and other States, the Council decided to postpone the election for the remaining slot for that region for the same term.


Next, the Council elected by acclamation the following nine members to the Commission on Population and Development to four-year terms beginning at the first meeting of the Commission’s forty-seventh session in 2013 and expiring at the close of its fiftieth session in 2017:  Chad and Madagascar (African States); Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Switzerland (Western European and other States).  In the absence of other candidates for the remaining five slots on the Commission for the same terms, the Council decided to postpone the election of one member from African States, three members from Asia-Pacific States and one member from Eastern European States.


Turning to its Commission on Social Development, the Council elected by consensus the following 12 members by acclamation to four-year terms beginning on at the first meeting of the Commission’s fifty-second session in 2013 and expiring at the close of its fifty-fifth session in 2017:  Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi and Uganda (African States);, China, Kuwait and Pakistan (Asia-Pacific States); Poland (Eastern European States); Argentina, Brazil and Chile (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Finland (Western European and other States).  It then postponed, in the absence of more candidates, the election of one member from Asia-Pacific States, one member from Eastern European States and three members from Western European and other States, for the same terms.


Filling outstanding vacancies from previously deferred elections, the Council elected Ukraine (Eastern European States) for a term beginning immediately and expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-third session in 2015, as well as Dominican Republic (Latin American and Caribbean States) for a term beginning immediately until the close of the Commission’s fifty-fourth session in 2016.


Afterwards, the Council decided to postpone elections of four outstanding vacancies, including one from Eastern European States for a term expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-first session in 2013; one from the Latin American and Caribbean States for a term expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-fourth session in 2016; and two from the Western European and other States, including one for a term expiring at the close of the Commission’s fifty-third session and the other for a term expiring at the close of the fifty-fourth session.


Continuing, the Council elected by acclamation the following 11 members to the Commission on the Status of Women for four-year terms beginning at the first meeting of the Commission’s fifty-eighth session in 2013 and expiring at the close the Commission’s sixty-first session in 2017:  Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Uganda (African States); Japan and Pakistan (Asia-Pacific States); Belarus (Eastern European States); Ecuador and Paraguay (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Germany, Israel and Switzerland (Western European and other States).


Twenty members were then elected by the Council to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013:  Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria and Namibia (African States); Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Republic of Korea and Saudi Arabia (Asia-Pacific States); Belarus and Czech Republic (Eastern European States); Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Mexico and Peru (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States (Western European and other States).


Next, 15 members were elected to the Commission on Sustainable Development for three-year terms beginning at the organizational meeting of the Commission’s twenty-second session in 2013 and expiring at the close of its twenty-fourth session in 2016.  They included:  Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania (African States); India, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Viet Nam (Asia-Pacific States); Czech Republic and Russian Federation (Eastern European States); Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia and Ecuador (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Iceland and Portugal (Western European and other States).  In the absence of other candidates, the elections for the two remaining members from Western European and other States, for similar terms, were postponed.


Turning to the Commission on Science and Technology, the Council elected the following 13 members for four-year terms beginning 1 January 2013:  Cameroon, Central African Republic, Liberia, Nigeria and Zambia (African States); Japan and Sri Lanka (Asia-Pacific States); Russian Federation (Eastern European States); Brazil and Mexico (Latin American and Caribbean States): and Austria, Finland and Portugal (Western European and other States).  In the absence of other candidates, the elections for two remaining members from Asia-Pacific States, one from Eastern European States, two from Latin American and Caribbean States, and two from Western European and other States, for similar terms, were postponed.


Turning to its Committee for Programme and Coordination — the 30-member body tasked with reviewing United Nations programmes, as defined in the strategic framework — the Council nominated Botswana and United Republic of Tanzania (African States), Russian Federation (Eastern European States and Peru (Latin American and Caribbean States) for election by the General Assembly for a three-year term, beginning on 1 January 2013.  In the absence of other candidates, it postponed nomination of one member from Latin American and Caribbean States and two members from Western European and other States.  Taking action on outstanding vacancies, it then nominated Japan and Kazakhstan (Asia-Pacific States) for terms beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2014, before postponing the four outstanding vacancies for members from Western European and other States for the same term.


Turning to the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting — the Organization’s only such body devoted to the international harmonization of national accounting and reporting practices at the corporate level — the Council elected the following four members for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013:  Cameroon, Libya and Mauritius (African States), and Brazil (Latin American and Caribbean States).  In the absence of other candidates, it postponed election of the following nine members for the same term:  one from African States; four from Asia-Pacific States; and two each from Eastern European States, and Latin American and Caribbean States.


Afterwards, it elected by acclamation Peru (Latin American and Caribbean States) and Germany (Western European and other States) to fill two outstanding vacancies for terms beginning immediately and expiring on 31 December 2014.  Then it postponed election for 16 outstanding vacancies for one member from African States, for a term expiring on 31 December 2014; six members from Asia-Pacific States — including four members for terms expiring on 31 December 2012 and two for terms expiring on 31 December 2014; one member from Latin American and Caribbean States for a term expiring on 31 December 2012; and eight members from Western European and other States for terms expiring on 31 December 2014.


Next, the Council elected nine experts to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013.  Eight were elected by acclamation.  They included Egypt and Mauritius (African States); China and Jordan (Asia-Pacific States); Poland and Belarus (Eastern European States); and Spain and Netherlands (Western European and other States).  Suriname (Latin American and Caribbean States) was elected by secret ballot.


Then, the Council elected Viktoria Tuula of Estonia to the Permanent Forum of Indigenous Issues to replace Helen Kaljulate, also of Estonia, who recently resigned.  Effective immediately, Ms. Tuula assumed Ms. Kajulate’s seat, which would expire on 31 December 2013.


The Council then elected 14 members to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2013 as follows:  Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt and Ghana (African States); Iran, Pakistan and Thailand (Asia-Pacific States); Bulgaria (Eastern European States); Guyana (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Canada, Denmark, France and Sweden (Western European and other States).


To replace members that had resigned effective 1 January 2013, and whose terms would expire on 31 December 2013, the Council elected the following members:  Switzerland (replacing Austria), Ireland (replacing Netherlands) and Israel (replacing United Kingdom).  Replacements for members who had resigned effective 1 January 2013 and whose terms of office would expire on 31 December 2014 were: Greece (replacing Japan) and Belgium (replacing Spain).


Azerbaijan and Rwanda were then elected to fill the two additional seats on the Executive Committee on the Programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which were created pursuant to Assembly resolution 66/134 of 19 December 2011.


The Council then elected the following 14 members to the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)/United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013:  Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho and Niger (African States); Fiji, Iran and Pakistan (Asia-Pacific States); Bulgaria (Eastern European States); Guatemala (Latin American and Caribbean States); and France, Germany, Japan and Spain (Western European and other States).


To replace members that had resigned effective 1 January 2013 and whose terms would expire on 31 December 2013, the Council elected the following members:  Netherlands (replacing Canada) and Ireland (replacing Luxembourg).  Replacements for members who had resigned effective 1 January 2013 and whose terms of office would expire on 31 December 2014 were:  New Zealand (replacing Denmark); United Kingdom (replacing Greece); and Portugal (replacing Israel).


Next, 17 members were elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013 as follows:  Algeria, Gambia, Djibouti, Gabon and Malawi (African States); Maldives, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Thailand and United Arab Emirates (Asia-Pacific States); Latvia and Russian Federation (Eastern European States); Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Ireland and Switzerland (Western European and other States).


To replace members that had resigned effective 1 January 2013 and whose terms would expire on 31 December 2013, the Council elected the following:  Belgium (replacing Finland); Austria (replacing Netherlands); United States (replacing Sweden); and Australia (replacing United States).


To the Executive Board of the World Food Programme (WFP), the Council elected Sierra Leone (from list A); Iraq (from list B); Netherlands and Switzerland (from list D); and Russian Federation (from list E) for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013, and postponed the election of one member from list B due to the absence of other candidates.  To replace members that had resigned effective 1 January 2013 and whose terms would expire on 31 December 2013, the Council elected Spain (replacing Norway) and Pakistan (replacing Republic of Korea).


Next, the Czech Republic (Eastern European States) and Grenada (Latin American and Caribbean States) were elected for three-year terms beginning 1 January 2013 to the Committee for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), while elections for eight other members — including three from African States, three from Asia-Pacific States, one from Latin American and Caribbean States, and one from Western European and other States — for similar terms, was postponed.


To the Programme Coordinating Board of Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Council elected the following nine members for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013:  Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe (African States); China and Japan (Asia-Pacific States); Poland (Eastern European States); Guyana (Latin American and Caribbean States); and Belgium, Switzerland and United Kingdom (Western European and other States).


Next, the Council elected the following 10 members to the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for four-year terms beginning 1 January 2013:  Benin, Madagascar, Morocco, Somalia and Uganda (African States); China, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka (Asia-Pacific States); and Antigua and Barbuda (Latin American and Caribbean States).  In the absence of other candidates, the Council postponed the election of two members from Eastern European States, two from Latin American and Caribbean States, and five from Western European and other States, for similar terms.


Luis Alfonso de Alba (Mexico), President of the Economic and Social Council, then reminded the Council that five outstanding vacancies remained on the Governing Council, including two from Eastern European States for terms expiring on 31 December 2015, and three from Western European and other States, including two whose terms would expire on 31 December 2012 and one whose term would expire on 31 December 2015.  Noting that, to date, no nominees had been proposed to fill those seats, he appealed to the regional groups concerned to submit their nominees as soon as possible.


In its final action, the Council elected Egypt to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs effective immediately until 31 December 2015, to fill an outstanding vacancy.


The Council is the principal organ for the United Nations socio-economic and related work.  Its subsidiary bodies include nine functional commissions, five regional commissions, standing committees, as well as expert and related bodies.  The Council also receives reports from 11 of the Organization’s funds and programmes, serving as the central forum for economic and social issues, and as a policy adviser to States and the United Nations system.


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For information media • not an official record