|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference on High-Level Segment of Economic and Social Council 2010 Session
Hailing the expected creation today of “UN Women”, the agency that would become the focal point for all the world body’s activities towards ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment, the President of the Economic and Social Council said today that the move was clear recognition that women remained at the very heart of efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals.
Speaking at a Headquarters press conference to wrap up the high-level segment of the Council’s 2010 substantive session, Hamidon Ali (Malaysia) said participating ministers and heads of delegation had just adopted a ministerial declaration welcoming the new agency and pledging to support its work. (See Press Release ECOSOC/6435)
He recalled that the theme of the high-level segment had been “Implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to gender equality and empowerment of women”, noting in that context that the Declaration called for, among other things, integrated and gender-sensitive responses to enhance attainment of those goals and full integration of women into the formal economy, including economic decision-making.
Mr. Ali said the text also stressed the need to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women, and to involve men and boys in that process. It also stressed the need to improve women’s access to education, health care and the labour market.
He went on to say that, during the Council’s Annual Ministerial Review, a record 13 countries — seven from the developing world and six developed countries — had presented lessons learned, progress made and challenges faced in achieving internationally agreed goals relating to women. Delegations had also participated in the Development Cooperation Forum, proving its importance.
Asked about the Council’s role in following up on the outcome of the 2009 United Nations Conference on the World Economic and Financial Crisis and its Impact on Development, he said work was ongoing on that matter and the Council was cooperating with the General Assembly and the expert panel on the impact of the crisis. There was a need to have a “meeting of the minds” among relevant United Nations bodies, as well as the Group of 20 (G-20), to keep up the momentum. “We need to have more involvement of the ‘G-192’,” he said.
Responding to a question about involving the G-20 in the Council’s work, he acknowledged that, at one time, there had been a movement to give the 54-member body “the kind of teeth and power” given to the Security Council. Nevertheless, the Economic and Social Council did represent the voice of the international community on economic and social issues, and was open to ongoing review of its activities, including the streamlining of its work and the enhancement of its voice on topical issues.
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