Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Introduction of the Reports of the Secretary-General (2013 Annual Ministerial Review and the Thematic Discussion)

Ambassador Osorio,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I have the pleasure of introducing the reports of the Secretary-General for this year’s Annual Ministerial Review and for the Thematic Discussion. Both reports have been prepared in close consultation with colleagues in the UN system.

The 2013 Annual Ministerial Review Report will inform our dialogue on science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the MDGs,

This is especially important given the short time left to 2015. Despite significant progress, much remains to be done.

As we take stock of progress and learn from the experience of the past dozen years, we see that science, technology, innovation – or STI – and culture, have contributed a great deal.

Looking forward, STI and culture hold enormous potential to help us overcome interlinked development challenges and to realize our aspirations and goals.

Overcoming extreme poverty, inequality and environmental degradation will require innovations from science, technology and culture in the public and private sectors in this twenty-first century.

The AMR Report offers an overview of the potential of STI and culture as tools to achieve the MDGs, and pursue sustainable development.

The Report underscores the important role of STI in sustainable development. In particular, it refers to sustainable agriculture and food security; sustainable energy; access to fresh water; and climate change adaptation.

It also underlines the potential of culture for pursuing sustainable development. It includes the role of culture in promoting poverty reduction, fostering gender equality, and protecting the environment.

Drawing on the work of the United Nations system, the Report offers recommendations for an enabling environment for STI and culture to flourish.

At the national level, public commitment to STI is critical. So, too, is cultural awareness and the acknowledgement that innovations and policies must be tailored to each context.

At the regional and global levels, multi-stakeholder dialogue, institutional reforms and expanded partnerships around STI and culture are essential. This can help to ensure that the benefits from advances in these sectors are broadly shared.

The Report concludes with specific recommendations for your important consideration.

Distinguished Delegates,

The Thematic Report of the Secretary-General is also before the Council. This report will inform our thematic discussion on the contribution of the Economic and Social Council to the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

Drawing from ECOSOC’s vast experience, the Report emphasizes the contributions that the Council can make to the post-2015 framework through six key roles.

The first is through the priorities identified by the Council through the themes selected for the annual ministerial reviews. The cross-cutting and multi-dimensional scope of these themes allow the Council to bring out the inter-linkages between the internationally agreed goals and other related development concerns. 

The second key role is integration: The Report analyzes ways in which the Council can contribute to the balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development, in the post-2015 development agenda.

Third, the potential of ECOSOC in monitoring implementation and providing accountability mechanisms, is underlined. The annual ministerial review and the Development Cooperation Forum could evolve to play important roles in the post-2015 agenda.

Fourth, the Report highlights the mandates of the Council and its experience in promoting coordination and coherence. It argues that the Council’s potential in this area should be further developed and fully utilized in the post-2015 agenda.

The fifth role is addressing global emergencies and humanitarian crises. The Report emphasizes that the capacity of both the Council and the United Nations system to respond to such crises, can be improved. 

Finally, the Report stresses that the Council’s critical role in engaging a wide range of development partners can be strengthened further.

Mr. President,

I am confident that this session of the Council will bring urgent global attention to the importance of science, technology, innovation and culture for development, accompanied by the Council’s policy guidance.

I am also confident that the session will greatly enhance the contribution of ECOSOC to the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda.

Thank you.