Cooperation key to overcoming development hurdles, says ECOSOC president

President of ECOSOC, Ambassador Léo Mérorès of Haiti

1 July 2008 – Surging food and oil prices, along with global financial turmoil, have made cooperation essential to reach development goals, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Leo Mérorès said today.

Least developing countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states will be particularly affected, he said in his address to the general debate of the annual high-level segment of ECOSOC.

“We need to work together and help one another to weather the difficult time but also to set into motion a long-term series of steps which will help address the structural and systemic problems which have led the world to this state,” he added.

Sustainable development is the best way to achieve progress in the face of climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss, sustainable development, Mr. Mérorès said. “It is time to make a difference in the way we think and act.”

The first-ever Development Cooperation Forum opened yesterday, and he told reporters today that “from the discussions that we’ve been having so far, I must say that everything is on track.”

He voiced hope that the Forum would allow participants – ranging from donors to recipients, as well as governments and civil society – to share their ideas frankly and honestly regarding the quality, quantity and impact of aid.

The conclusions the Forum arrives at “will pave the way for the next course of action,” the ECOSOC President said.

The body was mandated in 2005 by the World Summit to convene this Forum to help make development activities within and outside the UN more coherent and streamlined, particularly as more and more groups and entities become involved in the delivery of aid.

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