Ad Hoc Working Group on the Integrated and Coordinated Implementation of and Follow-up to the Outcomes of the Major United Nations Conferences and Summits in the Economic and Social Fields

14th meeting – Tuesday, 17 June 2003
Statement by the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group
H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, President, 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Text of the Resolution

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to conclude this session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Integrated and Coordinated Implementation of and Follow-up to the outcomes of the Major United Nations Conferences and Summits in the Economic and Social Fields. At the beginning of this exercise, there were questions whether the Working group would be able to consider this complex and comprehensive issue thoroughly within the time limits. However, the Working Group under the leadership of the Bureau set a firm and demanding programme of work and has put all doubts to rest.

Throughout the sessions which began in January of this year, we have had substantive discussions and informal consultations in which various aspects of this complex issue were considered. We have been attempting to make practical recommendations to the concept of an integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major UN Conferences and summits. We have looked at UN activities in economic and social fields from a new angle and identified possible ways of improving our work in order to better support implementation of the outcomes of major UN conferences and summits.

Even though the final text may not meet all expectations, I am convinced that we produced an extremely good outcome which will contribute to more efficient work, better visibility and greater political importance of the United Nations in economic and social fields.

What gives me particular satisfaction is that there is general agreement to look at the work programme of the Second Committee, which will weave in a certain logic and topicality in the Committee’s work. I am also encouraged by the increasing possibility for a politically attractive comprehensive review in 2005, through a major event, of the progress achieved in implementing commitments made during the conferences and summits.

Improved planning in the work of ECOSOC will help the subsidiary architecture of ECOSOC to engage more fully in its work and will also provide an opportunity for the functional commissions of ECOSOC to evaluate and monitor their working methods appropriately, in light of the changes that have been made in the Commission on Sustainable Development.

These may appear to be small changes but reform of the General Assembly and ECOSOC has always taken place through small, iterative steps and I see the resolution as an important landmark on the path to a politically energized General Assembly and ECOSOC.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation and thanks to the two Vice Chairs of the Group – Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng, of Ghana and Ambassador Jean de Ruyt of Belgium, who presided over informal consultations and provided guidance throughout the whole process and tirelessly participated in the work of the Bureau and related negotiations. I am also very grateful to our Facilitator, Counselor Henri Stephan Raubenheimer from the Permanent Mission of South Africa, for his dedicated and thoughtful approach, his substantive skills and abilities and tireless efforts which helped finalize the work of the Working Group. Counselor Raubenheimer’s contributions and suggestions greatly assisted all of us in finalizing the text of this resolution.

I also thank all the delegates from the member states, and particularly to the chairs of G77 and EU and those delegations who submitted written proposals, for their active involvement, dedication and productive work in this very important process.

It is also important to recognize a great deal of good will, understanding
and constructive spirit that prevailed in the Working Group and helped us arrive at the final agreement within our time limit.

Lastly I wish to convey my appreciation to the Secretariat, DESA, particularly Mr. Sarbuland Khan and Nikhil Seth, and the conference services for their valuable inputs, experienced support and flexibility in facilitating our deliberations.

In conclusion, let me congratulate all of you on the successful completion of our work.

Thank you.

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