Agreed themes, but no common statement, emerge from Economic and Social Council ministerial session

Ambassador Munir Akram

3 July 2005 – The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has concluded its annual ministerial meeting with broad agreement on key issues but no common statement reflecting a shared position, its President said.

Addressing the Council at a session which wrapped up late on Friday, Pakistan's Ambassador, Munir Akram, explained that since efforts to produce a ministerial declaration had not been successful, he would prepare and circulate a Chair's summary of the high-level segment, reflecting the discussions that had taken place during the three-day meeting.

Highlighting some broad themes that had emerged during the discussions, he noted that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of anti-poverty targets adopted at a UN summit in 2000, together with the outcomes of other major UN conferences, constituted a comprehensive development agenda for the international community. The challenge was not devising a plan but acting on it, he said.

While pointing out that overall progress in reaching the Goals had been uneven, he said a new spirit of shared responsibility was emerging. At the same time, he cautioned that this positive atmosphere must be maintained to give rise to concrete achievements at the 2005 World Summit to be held at UN Headquarters in September.

Drawing another lesson from the high-level meeting, Mr. Akram said it served to highlight ECOSOC's important role as the sole body bringing together governments, international agencies, civil society and business to conduct a comprehensive and open dialogue on how to reach common agenda.

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