Statement by Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs to the Committee for Programme and Coordination

delivered by Ms. Hania Zlotnik Officer-in-Charge, Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Distinguished Committee Members,

I have the honour to introduce the proposed strategic framework for 2012-2013 for programme 7 on economic and social affairs. The programme is under the responsibility of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Our mission is to promote and support international cooperation in the pursuit of sustained economic growth, the eradication of poverty and hunger, and sustainable development for all.

During the biennium 2012-2013, we will focus on four crucial functions:

First, we will continue carrying out the critical tasks of monitoring, research and analysis of development issues and emerging challenges;

Second, we will provide substantive support to intergovernmental processes in an effective manner;

Third, we will remain committed to assisting developing countries in capacity development to support implementation of global conference outcomes;

Fourth, we will continue fostering collaboration and partnerships within the United Nations system and with civil society.

In fulfilling these crucial functions, we will maintain our efforts at enhancing horizontal linkages across the 10 sub-programmes to enable more effective and coordinated support to Member States.

As Convener of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs (ECESA), the Department will continue to promote programme coherence and coordination among ECESA members. We will consult regularly with our ECESA colleagues to leverage synergies among the Secretariat’s economic and social activities.

In preparing the strategic framework, we have taken into account the programme performance review of the 2008-2009 biennium and we will apply the lessons learned to our ongoing and future programme delivery.

In the biennium 2012-2013, we will seek to enhance our support for ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review and assist in the dissemination of best practices and lessons learned through more numerous national voluntary presentations.

We will continue supporting the Development Cooperation Forum in its independent assessment of trends in development cooperation and contribute to its role in enhancing policy coherence in development cooperation.

In the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, the Department will continue improving its support to the General Assembly’s biennial High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development.

Supporting the preparatory process of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that is to be held in 2012, also known as Rio+20, will be a major priority of the programme. The Conference is raising high expectations and promises to be a landmark event of historic importance. The Conference provides a timely opportunity for the international community to address effectively the interlocking challenges of poverty, food insecurity, global health and the lack of access to energy as well as their interlinkages with climate change. The preparatory work for the Conference will be carried out in collaboration with other UN entities.

In particular, we will continue to promote the shared objectives on forests and facilitate implementation of the non-legally binding instrument on all types of forests.

We remain strongly committed to advancing the global agenda on gender equality and the empowerment of women. Regarding the composite gender-equality entity, Member States are considering the general principles that will guide its governance, staffing, structure and financial architecture as well as transitional arrangements. The Department will continue mainstreaming gender equality in all its sub-programmes during the coming biennium.

We will further strengthen international cooperation and enhance national capacity to address poverty eradication, employment generation and social integration, with an emphasis on social inclusion and attention to the needs of the most vulnerable, including older persons, persons with disabilities, youth and indigenous peoples.

DESA’s engagement in the area of international migration and development is of strategic relevance and it will continue to play an active role in interagency collaboration and coordination in the field of international migration. We will provide the support required for the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development that the General Assembly will conduct at its 68th session in 2013.

We will continue to develop statistical methodologies in cutting edge areas and coordinate global data collection and dissemination activities, especially with respect to development indicators, and will improve our support for Member States to build and strengthen their national statistical capacity.

We will seek to promote greater awareness about key substantive areas of public administration and the management of development, including e-governance and the promotion of professionalism and ethics in the public sector.

Lastly, we will continue carrying out in-depth research to inform the intergovernmental debate on new and emerging economic development challenges and we will continue to advance our efforts to streamline and strengthen the delivery of DESA policy advice and analytical products to Member States. These activities will benefit from the continued and strengthened collaboration among EC-ESA entities and with other UN organizations.

I look forward to your comments on the strategic framework.