UN economic and social body urges stronger global governance to achieve anti-poverty goals

President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Néstor Osorio. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

16 May 2013 – A more effective and inclusive global governance system will be necessary to ensure that the international community achieves the Millennium Development Goals and establishes an actionable post-2015 agenda, the head of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today said, while urging a review of the UN body to meet new demands.

Néstor Osorio, the President of ECOSOC, opened the informal debate on the “United Nations in global economic governance” by stressing the need to enhance accountability, effectiveness and coherence of the UN systems at the intergovernmental, institutional and operational levels.

“A post-2015 development agenda will need a more structural, inclusive and systemic approach that can deliver on the transformative change needed to address current and emerging challenges, and suggest credible strategies towards a secure, sustainable and inclusive pathway for global development,” he said.

He said that the United Nations, “as a truly universal and inclusive multilateral forum with unquestioned legitimacy,” has a central role in global economic governance to gather both the necessary political will and policy coordination at the international level. Strengthening the world body’s effectiveness would therefore be in important contribution towards a more coherent and coordinated policy-making framework

As a starting point, he said efforts should be made to enhance the accountability, effectiveness and coherence of the UN system. Noting ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review, Mr. Osorio said that a strengthened version of this meeting could become a central venue for monitoring the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda, supported by the entire ECOSOC system.

Further, the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) could further expand its role as a driver for greater national and global accountability in development cooperation, Mr. Osorio said by promoting mutual accountability as an overarching principle in the post-2015 development agenda, with a view to promoting enhanced reporting on agreed commitments and adapting development cooperation to emerging challenges.

The DCF, organized bi-annually by ECOSOC, brings together policymakers, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, local authorities and foundations to review development cooperation trends, debate ways to improve the quality and effectiveness of such cooperation, and increase its impact on development goals.

Mr. Osorio also highlighted the importance of an effective strategy for financing sustainable development in the follow-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) hosted last year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That summit was a follow-up to the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development – more commonly referred to as the “Earth Summit’ – meant to reconcile economic and environmental goals of the international community.

While there, participating Member States decided to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals which will build on the MDGs and be part of the post-2015 development agenda which is included in ECOSOC’s agenda.

Mr. Osorio also noted the importance of including civil society and the private sector in the dialogue on the next development agenda priorities.

Also addressing the meeting today, the ECOSOC Vice-President, Masood Khan, and José Antonio Ocampo, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy.

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.

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