Special High-level Meeting of the Economic and Social Council with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Monday, 24 April 2006
New York




Press release

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2005 Spring Meeting


FFD Office


The ninth annual “Spring” meeting of ECOSOC was held on 24 April 2006, the day following the meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committe . The purpose of the meeting is to create a free-flowing dialogue between a panel of finance ministers and senior officials who have participated in the spring meeting of the Bretton Woods institutions or in intergovernmental work on trade, and the high-level participants (ministers and senior officials) of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Civil society and private sector representatives also actively participate in these meetings.

This year's meeting addressed the overall theme of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and the 2005 World Summit Outcome” . This year's four sub-themes were: (i) Implementation of and support for National Development Strategies, towards the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals; (ii) Fulfilling the development dimension of the Doha Work Programme: Next steps, including in the area of “Aid for Trade; (iii) External debt: Implementing and building on current initiatives to enhance debt sustainability; and (iv) Supporting the development efforts of middle-income developing countries.

Record participation by World Bank Board and a number of Finance, Development Cooperation and other Ministers, as well as the Chairperson of the Development Committee and the President of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board underlines that the meeting is seen as an important platform for promoting coherence within the system, not only in the follow-up to International Conference on Financing for Development, but also for bringing the system together around the MDGs.

Among the highlights of the dialogue, the following are worth noting. Firstly, the current exceptional global circumstances are a unique opportunity for advancing the development agenda, especially in countries that are lagging behind. However, in contrast with positive trends on global growth, aid, debt relief and innovative sources of finance, the lack of significant progress on trade is conspicuous. Secondly, there is a sense of increasing synchronization of stakeholders efforts around the agenda centred on the MDGs. Thirdly, participants welcomed the decision by the IMFC to discuss concrete proposals on the issue of voice and representation of developing countries in the Fund decision making at its annual meeting in September and hoped that other intergovernmental bodies would follow. Finally, the President of ECOSOC will initiate consultations with all stakeholders, with support by DESA, on ways to enhance the impact and follow up to this meeting.

The contact person for the meeting at the UN is Mr. Sarbuland Khan, Director, Division for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (phone: 212 963-4628, fax 212 963 1712, email: ecosocinfo@un.org ).