President of the Economic and Social Council

H.E. Ambassador Munir Akram

Statement Summary

MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan), President of the Economic and Social Council, said the Declaration to be adopted underscores that the United Nations has advanced international development norms, helped to eradicate disease and spread education, saved lives and worked to combat conflicts and promote human rights.  However, the COVID‑19 pandemic is having devastating impacts by worsening inequality and poverty, jeopardizing the further implementation of the 2030 Agenda and compounding the existential challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.  It also shows that global solidarity and international cooperation are needed more than ever, he said.

As an organ entirely dedicated to development, the Economic and Social Council is paramount for shaping the joint response to combat the pandemic and realize the goals of the 2030 Agenda, he continued.  It has forged consensus on key social and economic issues through its functional commissions, including the high‑level political forum on sustainable development and the forums on financing for development on science, technology and innovation.  At the same time, the organ is undergoing a process of review by the General Assembly, he noted, adding that it offers the opportunity to strengthen the Council’s role within the broader context of a renewal of multilateralism.

The high‑level meeting held by Economic and Social Council among leaders from the fields of international development, politics, economics, academia and others, amplified the message that a firm commitment to a more inclusive multilateralism is needed, he said.  Longer‑term challenges could be addressed effectively only if countries, civil society and the private sector are willing to work together, and multilateralism will need to become more resilient and attuned to the most vulnerable.  A revitalized Economic and Social Council needs to be at the heart of such a renewed multilateralism, he concluded.