Ban Ki-moon stresses key role of ECOSOC at meeting with leaders

16 April 2007 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced optimism about the role of the Economic and Social Council during a meeting with its current president as well as seven others who held the position in recent years.

During the closed meeting, the Secretary-General and the presidents discussed how the UN could play a more effective role in development and ECOSOC’s participation in this effort, officials said.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of the General Assembly’s consideration today of recommendations made by a blue-ribbon group, called the High-Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence, which has proposed further empowering ECOSOC – mandated to coordinate the development work of the UN system – through the involvement of Member States in its work at the highest possible political level.

This year, ECOSOC will launch two new functions called for by a 2005 World Summit: the Annual Ministerial Review of progress towards the development goals and the biennial Development Cooperation Forum.

The first initiative will introduce a “voluntary review” process, involving presentations by Ghana, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Bangladesh and Barbados on their experiences in reaching development goals.

The Development Cooperation Forum will provide a platform for dialogue on the major issues affecting development cooperation as well as its effectiveness in supporting achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of time-bound anti-poverty targets, and other development objectives.

Meeting with Mr. Ban were ECOSOC President Dalius Cekuolis of Lithuania, as well as Ali Hachani of Tunisia (2006), Munir Akram of Pakistan (2005), Marjatta Rasi of Finland (2004), Ivan Simonovic of Croatia (2002), Martin Chungong Ayafor, who was standing in for Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon (2001), Markarim Wibisono of Indonesia (2000) and Juan Somavia of Chile (1998 and 1993).

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