The Economic and Social Council held its 2020 management segment via videoconference today, hearing the introduction of reports from its subsidiary bodies and four resolutions and seven decisions contained therein, to be adopted by the silence procedure at a later date due to restrictions related to the COVID‑19 pandemic.
The General Assembly had renamed the Coordination and Management Meeting of the Economic and Social Council as the management segment, in its resolution 72/305. Scheduled to be held twice per cycle, the management segment focuses on the adoption of procedural decisions, consideration of recommendations of its subsidiary bodies, and the introduction of reports and consideration of draft proposals submitted under relevant agenda items.
Convening today’s informal, virtual meeting, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council Munir Akram (Pakistan) noted that recommendations contained in the reports and stand-alone draft proposals will be considered through the silence procedure, pursuant to Economic and Social Council decisions 2020/205 and 206 and in accordance with procedures adopted by the General Assembly during the pandemic. As such, he said his office intended to circulate a letter to the Council’s 54 members outlining the drafts and the corresponding silence procedures following the conclusion of the virtual meeting.
The Council then turned to reports from its subsidiary bodies, including the Commission for Social Development, Committee for Development Policy, Statistical Commission, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management.
Under its agenda item on “Statistics”, the Council took up the report on the Statistical Commission’s fifty-first session (document E/2020/24), which contained the draft resolution titled “Strengthening coordination of the statistical programmes in the United Nations system” and the draft decision titled “Report of the Statistical Commission on its fifty-first session and the provisional agenda and dates for the fifty-second session of the Commission”. The report also drew the Council’s attention to 28 decisions the Statistical Commission had adopted during it session.
Turning to its agenda item on “Narcotic drugs”, the Council considered two reports of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The report covering the Commission’s reconvened sixty-second session (document E/2019/28/Add.1) contained the draft decision titled “Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its reconvened sixty-second session” and drew the Council’s attention to one resolution. The report on its sixty-third session (document E/2020/28) contained two draft decisions, titled “Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its sixty-third session and provisional agenda for its sixty-fourth session” and “Report of the International Narcotics Control Board”, and drew the Council’s attention to 5 resolutions and 15 decisions.
The Council then turned to its agenda item on “Non-governmental organizations”, taking up the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations at its 2020 regular session (document E/2020/32 (Part I)), and a letter by the Committee’s Chair to the Council’s President dated 6 May 2020. In the letter, the Chair conveyed the Committee’s recommendation for the Council to change, on an exceptional basis, in 2020, the submission date of quadrennial reports of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in general and special consultative status, from 1 May to 1 July. The report contained draft decision I, asking the Council to endorse the Committee’s requests regarding applications of NGOs during its 2020 regular session, and draft decision II, requesting the Council to take note of the report.
Turning to its agenda item on “Geospatial information”, the Council took up the report of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management on its ninth session (document E/2020/46), and a letter by its co-Chairs to the Council’s President dated 27 May 2020. In their letter, the co-Chairs proposed that the Committee’s tenth session be held in a scaled down format on a virtual platform on 26-27 August and 4 September 2020 and that Committee decisions be adopted through the silence procedure. The report contained the draft decision titled “Report of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management on its ninth session and provisional agenda and dates for the tenth session of the Committee” and drew the Council’s attention to 15 decisions.
The Council then took up two reports under its agenda item on “Social development”. The report “Commission for Social Development at its fifty-eighth session” (document E/2020/26) contained three draft resolutions and one draft decision: draft resolution I, titled “Social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development”; draft resolution II, titled “Affordable housing and social protection systems for all to address homelessness”; draft resolution III titled “Modalities for the fourth review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, 2002”; and the draft decision titled “Report of the Commission for Social Development on its fifty-eighth session and provisional agenda and documentation for the fifty-ninth session”. The report also requested that the Council confirm the Commission on Social Development’s decision 58/101 titled “Nomination of a member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development”.
The Council then turned to the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the objectives of the International Year of the Family and its follow-up processes (document E/2020/4), containing recommendations for Member States.
Under its agenda item on “United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” (UNHCR), the Council heard an oral report from the High Commissioner delivered by the Director of the UNCHR New York Office.
It then turned to its agenda item on “Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues”, focusing its attention on a letter dated 29 April 2020 from the Forum’s Chair to the Council’s President. The letter outlined the difficulties in organizing the Forum’s 2020 annual session during the Economic and Social Council’s 2020 session in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum’s Chair proposed, in the letter, the necessary procedural decisions required in order to convene the twentieth session of the Forum in 2021, namely relating to the dates, venue and provisional agenda and the theme of the International Expert Group Meeting on indigenous peoples.
The Council also considered the following: Under its agenda item on “Review and coordination of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020”, the Secretary-General’s report on the Programme of Action’s implementation (document E/2020/14); under “Human Rights”, the report of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on its sixty-fifth and sixty-sixth sessions (document E/2020/22); under “Implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits”, the Committee on World Food Security’s report (document E/2020/49) and the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition’s report (document E/2020/47); under “Narcotic drugs”, the International Narcotics Control Board’s report for 2019 (document E/INCB/2019/1); on “Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes in the United Nations system”, the Secretary-General’s eponymous report (document E/2020/50); and on “Sustainable development”, the report of the Committee for Development Policy on its twenty-second session (document E/2020/33).
All decisions and resolutions adopted through the silence procedure will be taken note of at the next plenary meeting of the Economic and Social Council at United Nations Headquarters.