|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS MINISTERIAL DECLARATION,
CONCLUDES HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT
(Reissued as received.)
GENEVA, 10 July (UN Information Service) -- The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this evening concluded its high-level segment after adopting by consensus a Ministerial Declaration in which the Ministers and Heads of Delegations participating in the segment reaffirmed their commitment to prioritise actions and allocate resources to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in all countries and agreed to undertake measures to increase access of malnourished people to food.
The Declaration reiterated that all countries should promote gender equality and empowerment of women; encouraged all countries to facilitate the expansion of micro-finance; resolved to intensify efforts towards the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010, among others; and resolved to continue efforts to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and strengthen healthcare systems.
Further, the Declaration reaffirmed that each country must take primary responsibility for its own development and that the role of national policies and development strategies could not be over-emphasised in the achievement of sustainable development. It also recognized that national efforts should be complemented by supportive global programmes, measures and policies aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries, while taking into account national conditions and ensuring respect for national ownership, strategies and sovereignty. It called for measures at all levels to promote pro-poor growth in a sustained manner; renewed the commitment to continue to discuss innovative mechanisms for financing for development; and requested that ECOSOC consider reviewing its existing mechanisms and where needed take appropriate action to ensure effective review and implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields.
Speaking during the meeting were the representatives of Pakistan on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Portugal on behalf of the European Union, United States and Cuba.
The Council will again on Wednesday 11 July at 10 a.m., when it is scheduled to hear the reports of the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the World Food Programme, which will be followed by a dialogue with the Executive Heads of these bodies.
In a Ministerial Declaration issued following the 2007 high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations participating in the high-level segment of the substantive session of 2007 of the Council, held from2 to 5 July, agree to adopt the following Declaration in which they: call for promotion and facilitation of, as appropriate, access to and the development, transfer and diffusion of technologies, including new and advanced environmentally-sound technologies and corresponding know-how to developing countries; call upon all countries to adopt strategies for reducing urban poverty; and call on the United Nations system and other relevant organizations to support developing countries in this regard and invite the international financial institutions to support these efforts.
They also reaffirm the commitment to prioritise actions and allocate resources to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in all countries and agree to undertake measures to increase access of malnourished people to food; reiterate that all countries should promote gender equality and empowerment of women; encourage all countries to facilitate the expansion of micro-finance; resolve to intensify efforts towards the goal of universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, treatment, care and support by 2010, among others; resolve to continue efforts to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and strengthen healthcare systems; and reiterate the need to fully implement the global partnership for development and enhance the momentum generated by the 2005 World Summit.
Further, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations reaffirm the commitment sound policies, good governance at all levels and the rule of law; reaffirm that each country must take primary responsibility for its own development and that the role of national policies and development strategies could not be over-emphasised in the achievement of sustainable development; recognize that national efforts should be complemented by supportive global programmes, measures and policies aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries, while taking into account national conditions and ensuring respect for national ownership, strategies and sovereignty; resolve to ensure that existing commitments of additional external resources for sub-Saharan Africa are fully implemented to promote achievement in that region of the Millennium Development Goals; call for the full, timely and effective achievement of the goals and targets of the Brussels Programme of Action, the Almaty Programme of Action, the Barbados Programme of Action and the Mauritius Strategy; call for the early conclusion and successful development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round of trade negotiations; call upon all countries to promote good governance; call for measures at all levels to promote pro-poor growth in a sustained manner; and renew the commitment to continue to discuss innovative mechanisms for financing for development.
MUNIR AKRAM ( Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said they wanted to express their deep appreciation for the President’s skills leading to the positive conclusions of the Declaration. Gratitude and admiration was also expressed for the skilful, knowledgeable and patient leadership of the negotiations. The adoption of the Declaration by consensus was a good conclusion to a good high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council this year. The adoption of the Ministerial Declaration at the Economic and Social Council had become a tradition. The patience displayed had paid off.
There were several issues that the Group of 77 and China would have wished to be inserted, some omitted and some expressed differently. However, the text represented a fair compromise, which the Group of 77 had accepted in the spirit of compromise. In the future, the declarations should cover the issues where the real focus was on. The Annual Ministerial Review and the Development Cooperation Forum should be action and result oriented in the future. The G77 would give further consideration to these issues.
FRANCISCO XAVIER ESTEVES (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the results achieved in the new strengthened Council, saying the Annual Ministerial Review and Development Cooperation Forum had allowed for a concrete dialogue and discussion that had proved valuable to the work. The participatory nature of meetings was positive, and next year’s events were looked forward to. The spirit of the positive discussions in the plenary should be appropriately reflected in the President’s summary, as this would help to move forward towards the goals of the Council.
RICHARD T. MILLER ( United States) added his country’s voice to those who had complimented the President and the Facilitator for having brought the surprisingly difficult negations on the text to a consensus. The United States was very pleased with some of the discussions it had had and welcomed that the text reflected the positive spirit of the partnership. It added its voice to the G77 in calling in the future for a text focussing more closely on the discussions of the high-level segment instead of having a comprehensive document. On the issue of climate change, the extraordinary difficulty in reaching an agreement on texts already agreed upon in previous meetings should be sobering for those anticipating quicker progress on such discussions in the future.
JORGE A. FERRER RODRIGUEZ ( Cuba) said the Facilitator and the President were to be thanked for helping the Council to achieve these results, and it was regretted that the process had been so prolonged and subject to resistance from developed countries to the G77 proposals. It was also hoped that these words would be a reality, and most of the issues raised in the Declaration were pending matters, even though they had been reiterated at many opportunities. Cuba was calling for this ferocious battle on words to be translated to concrete deeds -- today, this had not happened. For Cuba, it was not a precedent that the English version with no translation was approved, and it should not happen again. There were rules, and they should be observed, and increasingly this was not the case.
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