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Panel Discussions

Four panel discussions was held during the coordination segment:

Working towards food security: the UN system approach, 6 July (4:00-6:00 p.m.)  

The sharp rise of food prices in recent months has brought to the foreground the issue of global food security. There is a broad consensus that while there is a need for immediate measures to alleviate starvation, there is also a need to develop long-term strategies to address the root causes of the current crisis and the more deep-seated causes of food insecurity. Questions remain on the specific policies to do so effectively to ensure sustainable food supply, a debate that is likely to influence the UN system approach to food security in the future. This panel discussion will provide an opportunity to address these questions in light of current UN system approaches and identify ways in which the UN system support could be strengthened to ensure an effective response to current threats and challenges.

Concept note

Rural development and the chellenges of social welfare: a country level perspective, 8 July (10:00 am- 12:00 pm)  

There is a growing recognition that rural and agricultural development is critical to reduce poverty and hunger in a sustainable way. Boosting agricultural productivity is essential to ensure food security and to increase the economic prospects of low income-food deficit countries. Agriculture, however, is not only about agricultural productivity, but it is increasingly about its social and environmental impact that will in large part determine its capacity to reduce poverty and hunger. This panel discussion will focus on the national experiences to reform the agricultural sector to boost agricultural productivity while also improving social, economic and environmental performance and the lessons that can be learned from that about the challenges and opportunities facing developing countries.

Concept note

The role of ECOSOC in addressing violence against women in all its forms and manifestations: A dialogue with the chairpersons of the functional commissions, 8 July, (4:00-6:00 pm)

General Assembly resolution 58/185 requested the Secretary-General to conduct an in-depth study on all forms of violence against women. The study was considered by the Assembly at its 61 st session, and resulted in the adoption of resolution 61/143 on “Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women”. The resolution invited the ECOSOC and its functional commissions to discuss by 2008 the question of violence against women in all its forms and manifestations and to set priorities to address this issue in their future work programmes. This panel, structured as a round table discussion, will provide an opportunity for the Council and its functional commissions to reflect on: the impact of violence against women in their mandates; how to address this question in their future work programmes; how the Council can contribute to prevent and eliminate violence against women through its work and oversight function of the work of the functional commissions.

Concept note

Coherence: strengthening the normative and operational link in the work of the UN on rural employment, 9 July, (10:00 am-12:30 pm)

The work of the functional commissions of the ECOSOC is critical to translate the normative work of the UN conferences and summits, referred to as the UN development agenda, into concrete policies for its implementation. While the work of the commissions provides substantive guidance to UN system organizations involved in supporting country level implementation, this guidance does not always translate into coherent and comprehensive UN system programmes and operations. The coordination segment has the opportunity to strengthen the link between the normative and operational work of the UN by providing a forum for dialogue among the Council's subsidiary bodies guiding the work of the UN system. In particular, the panel, structured as a round table discussion among the chairpersons of relevant functional commissions and UN system governing bodies, will have the opportunity to focus this dialogue on a critical issue for the eradication of poverty and hunger - rural employment - and discuss how these bodies can harmonize their work to provide a coherent and effective support to its promotion.

Concept note