10 July 2012 The United Nations Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) high-level segment ended today with the adoption of a ministerial declaration calling for strengthened partnerships amongst Governments, the private sector and civil society to address issues that are crucial for providing full employment and decent work.
“It has been a very successful week,” said the President of ECOSOC, Miloš Koterec in his closing statement to the high-level segment, adding that Member States need to build on this success to keep reforms going and facilitate information-sharing and partnership building.
More than 500 delegates, including government ministers and heads of civil society groups, international institutions and the private sector, attended the Council’s high-level segment at UN Headquarters in New York.
In his remarks, Mr. Koterec highlighted a panel on accountability and transparency, a development cooperation forum and a dialogue with international finance and trade institutions as some of the major achievements of the high-level segment throughout the week.
The segment concluded with the adoption of a ministerial declaration that will form a road-map on how to achieve full employment and decent work.
The declaration notes that in spite of the global economic crisis, countries must increase their coordinated efforts “with a view to strengthening national development strategies, stimulating investment in productive capacities, helping to start and grow businesses and promoting opportunities for full and productive employment and decent work for all.”
It also emphasizes the importance of providing social protection to all members of society, and urges States to develop programmes to enhance the employability of women and youth, in particular to ensure they have access to job opportunities.
“With the adoption of a forceful, comprehensive ministerial declaration, the Council once again deftly demonstrated another special strength: to forge a workable international consensus on difficult issues,” Mr. Koterec said.
Addressing the event, the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, praised the declaration, underlining that it sets out ECOSOC’s “collective resolve to place full employment front and centre of policymaking and to promote inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth.”
Mr. Sha also noted that the declaration takes into account social equity and environmental protection. “It acknowledges too that businesses – and especially entrepreneurs – require supportive policies to prosper and create jobs,” he added.
A founding UN Charter body, ECOSOC is the venue where issues concerning the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges are discussed and debated, and policy recommendations made.
ECOSOC will now hold its coordination, operational activities, humanitarian affairs, and general segments before concluding on 27 July. The 54-member Council coordinates the work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, 10 functional commissions and five regional commissions, receives reports from ten UN funds and programmes and issues policy recommendations to the UN system, as well as to Member States. It meets every year, alternating between New York and Geneva.
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