by H. E. Jan Kavan, President of the General Assembly
Working Group on the Integrated and Coordinated Follow-up
Informal meeting with representatives of NGOs
Thursday, 17 April, 3-5 pm
delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great
pleasure to welcome you at this informal meeting, which is being
held at a crucial juncture in the work of the open-ended working
group. Next week, we shall turn our attention to concrete proposals
submitted by the Member States. The forthcoming discussion on
the concrete proposals should bring us to a set of recommendations
on how to achieve more coordinated, coherent and integrated approach
towards implementation and follow-up of the outcomes of the major
UN conferences and summits in the economic and social fields.
We have, so far, heard extensive views of governments and the
UN system on the integrated follow up of conferences and it is
opportune, at this stage, to hear the views of the partners, who
in an important sense, made the UN conferences/summits, since
the 90s, so successful.
feature of these conferences has been the unprecedented, and ever
growing, engagement of civil society and NGOs. Besides their participation
in shaping the conferences, NGOs are key players in the implementation
of conference outcomes. As we mobilize to translate commitments
into concrete actions, we have to think how the UN can continue
to benefit from the ideas and experiences of NGOs and to sustain
their implementation efforts.
an implementation mode is at the heart of the work of this open-ended
ad hoc working group. I would like to use today's meeting to update
you briefly on our work. I have with me the two vice-chairmen,
Ambassador Jean de Ruyt of Belgium and Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng
of Ghana. We will then move into a dialogue session where we would
welcome to hear more about your key concerns and ideas on how
the UN can most efficiently help to follow-up and implementation
of conference outcomes.
group has been, in essence, considering ways to ensure that the
UN work at all levels supports the implementation of conference
outcomes. It is expected to conclude its work and to produce concrete
recommendations to ensure an integrated and coordinated follow-up
and implementation of UN conferences and summits by the end of
group has held three sessions so far. The first one led to adopting
a four-point agenda. The subsequent ones have clarified the broad
directions that Member States want to pursue under each point
of the agenda and enabled a brainstorming on concrete proposals.
These four points are closely interrelated and their key overarching
goal is effective implementation of conference goals.
item is the integrated implementation of conference outcomes at
all levels. Under this item, we have discussed the role of Governments,
of the UN system and of other partners in implementing conference
outcomes. We had a dialogue with the Administrator of UNDP and
with representatives of the CEB and of UNDG. We also had an interesting
discussion on how to review progress in the implementation of
the outcomes of conferences. The focus of action on implementation
is at the country-level and governments, while they have the primary
responsibility, need the cooperation of a range of actors including
the NGOs and the private sector. It is under this first item that
we will address the role of NGOs in implementing conference outcomes.
A key thrust of our debate was the important responsibilities
of NGOs and how the UN could best help to sustain it. Our debate
has highlighted this key role of NGOs and the private sector in
resource mobilization, technology access, sharing management expertise
and providing support to programmes.
The second issue is the work of UN intergovernmental bodies. Our
key concern there is how to reinforce the work of the General
Assembly, ECOSOC and its functional commissions so that it has
greater impact and relevance, particularly in the new areas of
emphasis on implementation. How can they help carry forward the
spirit, new approaches and energy of conferences? How can we reinforce
their impact on actions and operations? How can our UN bodies
best complement and reinforce each other? These are some of the
questions we are addressing.
issue is the work of the General Assembly and of its Second and
Third committees. Delegations are approaching this item with the
intention of reinvigorating political energy and focus into the
work of the Assembly on economic and social issues. We have looked
at ways to ensure more interactive debates with greater impact
on outcomes. We have discussed cooperation and coherence between
the two committees, and how to best prepare their work and adjust
their working methods to the new imperatives.
issue is the review of the implementation of conferences, the
" plus five and plus tens". Delegations have been approaching
this issue with a positive mindset and it has appeared clearly
that there can be no single principle to guide the format and
periodicity of future conferences and summits and the review of
past ones. These have to be approached in a flexible manner, as
well as consideration of the political, economic and social developments
warranting such engagements.
have been asked to provide proposals in written form during this
week. This will be the basis of the work of our next session on
22 April. The working group will hold two more sessions in May
to finalize the discussions and our outcome document. This document
will be subsequently submitted for adoption by the General Assembly
and could be later used as a valuable input to the ECOSOC meeting
your ideas and views today. They will help us as we proceed with
our work at our next session on 22 April.
Now, the floor
is open for your remarks, comments, proposals or questions.