Development challenges in focus of ECOSOC’s month-long session

The substantive session of ECOSOC, which took place in New York, concluded on 27 July following four weeks of work on a wide range of issues on the UN’s development agenda

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) ended its annual session on finding solutions and proposing policy recommendations to global issues, from employment and decent work to global partnerships, development cooperation, education, poverty reduction and sustainability, and humanitarian assistance.

“We have reached the end of four, remarkable weeks of high-level engagement and dialogue, review and deliberation, and, importantly, decision-making,” said Mr. Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. More than 40 ministers and heads of development cooperation agencies, and the UN system attended the session.

Chaired by ECOSOC President Miloš Koterec, the High-level Segment opened on 2 July, featuring the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) on productive employment and decent work and the two-day Development Cooperation Forum, focusing on making advances in poverty reduction and sustainable development through partnerships among countries, civil society organizations and the private sector.

“The Forum (DCF) is making its mark on the development landscape, demonstrating its worth as a marquee destination for policy discourse and guidance,” said Mr. Koterec. “And with calls for more inclusive development cooperation growing ever louder, the DCF’s star will, no doubt, only shine brighter in the years ahead”.

Two major reports were released during the High-level segment – “The 2012 progress report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” and the “World Economic and Social Survey (WESS): In Search of New Development Finance” – and nine countries held voluntary presentations. A high-level panel discussion was also arranged on transparency and sustainable development.

The High-level segment concluded on 10 July with the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration focusing on ‘promoting productive capacity and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the Millennium Development Goals’.

The Coordination Segment examined commitments and goals related to education, including the role of partnership to boost results and the future of education goals in the post 2015 context., as well as follow up to the International Conference on Financing for Development, with a particular focus on innovative financing for development.

2012 will feature the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of the operational activities for development, an exercise that relates to the work of all UN system entities delivering support on the ground. At its operational activities segment, the Council started the QCPR process with a wide range of panels and keynote addresses. The process will continue at the forth coming General assembly session. An independent evaluation of the UN’s Delivering as One progress was also presented to ECOSOC

How coordination of humanitarian assistance could be strengthened in a changing world was on the agenda for the Humanitarian Affairs Segment, whereas the General Segment dealt with a number of issues including the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, the economic and social situation in African countries emerging from conflict, the international assistance to South-Sudan as well as long-term support to Haiti.

A number of online Face-to-Face live conversations were also arranged on topics related to the global jobs crisis. Video material highlighting ECOSOC and its annual session is stored online and can be accessed via ECOSOC’s Youtube page. The link has been included below.

The 54-member EOCOSC coordinates the work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, 10 functional commissions and five regional commissions, receives reports from ten UN funds and programmes and issues policy recommendations to the UN system, as well as to Member States. It meets every year, alternating between New York and Geneva.

For more information:
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Adopted draft Ministerial Declaration
Media Centre
ECOSOC on Youtube