Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Handover ceremony of ECOSOC Presidency

Mr. President, 
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to be here today as we mark the turnover of the Presidency of the Council.

On behalf of DESA, I wish to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Koterec and all the other members of the Bureau for the very successful year ECOSOC has concluded.

Your significant achievements throughout the past year were made possible by your steady commitment and leadership.

I also wish to extend a warm welcome, and my sincere congratulations, to H.E. Mr. Osoria as the new President of ECOSOC, and to the incoming Bureau. My colleagues and I are looking forward to supporting your work in the coming months.


This transition of Presidency is occurring at a time of another transition. Indeed, one that holds our future in its hands. 

As we chart a course towards sustainable development, the transition that lies ahead of us is not optional, but is inevitable. Our planet simply cannot sustain nine billion inhabitants aspiring for higher standards of living, if we remain entrenched in our unsustainable consumption.

I think we all agree that we must pursue today, the sustainable future we want for tomorrow. There is a Chinese proverb that says it better: ‘前人栽树,后人乘凉’ —“We are planting trees for the benefit of our future generations”.


Let there be no doubt, 2013 will be a very important year.  The Sustainable Development Goals will begin to take shape. We are also launching the process on strategies for financing sustainable development. Discussions on the high level political forum are going to start soon.

We hope that the contours of the post-2015 development agenda will start to emerge. The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel will present its report.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is really heartening to see that ECOSOC is already gearing up to deal with a unified development agenda. And, the process of strengthening ECOSOC will make it fit for this purpose.           

I believe that this year, is a year of continuing efforts for the renewal for ECOSOC.

I wish to compliment His Excellency Mr. Koterec for his leadership on very timely initiatives during his Presidency. He created many fruitful opportunities to develop bold ideas for strengthening ECOSOC’s ability to meet the challenges ahead.

We are now moving from the collection of proposals and ideas, towards important negotiations.  Rio+20 has opened new vistas for ECOSOC, and has given new momentum for its reform.  I am confident that H.E. Mr. Osorio, will use his leadership so that ECOSOC takes full advantage of these opportunities.

I also wish to reaffirm DESA’s fullest commitment to this crucial process of strengthening ECOSOC.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During this new year, DESA will continue to strengthen its analytical capacities to steadily improve its support to the work of ECOSOC.

I look forward to supporting the new President and Bureau of ECOSOC, as well as the entire ECOSOC membership, in such an interesting, challenging and eventful year.

Thank you.