ECOSOC is half-way through preparing its annual session

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will meet on 22 and 27 April to address gender equality, empowerment of women and development cooperation

In preparation for the substantive session in July this year, the Council will organize a series of meetings. The first one is scheduled for 22 April from 10:00 – 1:00 p.m., which is being organized by FAO and IFAD, in collaboration with WFP, the World Bank, UNIFEM, Heifer International, WOCAN, and the Hunger Project. It will address the topic “Who feeds the World in 2010 and Beyond: Rural women as Agents of Change and Champions of Global Food Security”.

The objective of the session is to increase awareness and understanding of the critical role of rural women in agricultural development and food security for the achievements of IADGs, in particular the MDGs.

In addition, it is expected that the meeting will generate a critical mass for action and collaboration through broader engagement and dialogue on rural women’s economic and social roles among various stakeholders (governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector, foundations) and strengthen ECOSOC’s role as a strategic and pro-active intergovernmental forum at the forefront of global policy making.

The meeting will also serve to highlight areas for further work with respect to the Council’s Ministerial Declaration of 2003 on Rural Development.

The second meeting, which will take place on 22 April, from 3 to 6 p.m. and serve as a preparatory event for the Development Cooperation Forum. DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang will open the meeting, which will explore the role of aid in mitigating the impact of the financial and economic crisis on achieving national development goals and the MDGs.

It will initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on questions such as decisions on aid allocations in the context of multiple crises, the possible cost of marginalizing “aid orphans” in favor of “aid darlings”, and the need for a renewed firm commitment by donors to restore stability and prosperity in the global economy. Key policy messages and good practices emanating from this discussion will serve to inform the consultative process and analytical preparations for the 2010 DCF and beyond.

The third meeting, in preparation for the Annual Ministerial Review, on the theme of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women will take place on 27 April, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meeting will bring together the Presidents of the ECOSOC and the Security Council and the Chairpersons of the Organizational Committee of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women to discuss “Mainstreaming a gender perspective in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations”.

The session will examine how the United Nations as a whole is addressing women’s unique needs in conflict and post-conflict situations. The debate will focus on how the respective recommendations, mandates and strategies are being implemented, what the remaining gaps and challenges are, and how they should be addressed in an integrated manner.

More information on the The Economic and Social Council

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