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ECOSOC/7032
24 February 2021
2021 Session, 5th Meeting (PM)

Adopting Range of Texts, Economic and Social Council Decides to Extend COVID-19-Related Procedures, Reschedule Delayed meetings

Delegates Also Fill Vacancies on Executive Board of UN-Women, Other Subsidiary Bodies

The Economic and Social Council, holding its first in-person meeting in 2021, adopted a range of decisions today, extending COVID-19-related procedures, rescheduling delayed meetings and filling several vacancies, including on the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).

At the outset, members adopted the draft decision titled “Procedure for taking decisions of the sessional bodies and the subsidiary organs of the Economic and Social Council during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at the 2021 session of the Council” (document E/2021/L.10).  By its terms, the Council decided that the sessional bodies and its subsidiary organs, where, in the view of their presiding officer, a plenary meeting is not practicable owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, may apply during the 2021 session the measures set out in decision 2020/205 of 3 April 2020, “Procedure for taking decisions of the Economic and Social Council during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”.

Turning to elections, nominations and appointments, the Council nominated the Philippines, by acclamation, for election by the General Assembly to the Committee for Programme and Coordination for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2022.  It then elected Malawi to the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by acclamation.  Finally, it filled vacancies on the Executive Board of UN-Women, electing by acclamation Luxembourg and Italy to complete the terms of Belgium and Canada, respectively, for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2021, and Andorra and Denmark, to complete the terms of New Zealand and Switzerland, respectively, for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2022.

Members then adopted several draft decisions, rescheduling meetings delayed by pandemic-related restrictions at Headquarters and taking note of annual reports of various subsidiary bodies.  Adopting the draft decision “Dates of the 2021 session of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations” (document E/2021/L.11), it rescheduled it to be held from 17 to 25 May, 27 May and 7 June, with the resumed session to be held from 30 August to 3 September, 7 to 10 September and 17 September.  Adopting the draft decision “Dates of the twentieth session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration” (document E/2021/L.12), it decided to reschedule its twentieth session for 12 to 21 April.

Adopting a recommendation by the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters contained in its 2020 annual report (document E/2021/45/Add.1), the Council decided that the twenty-second session shall be held in a scaled-down format, using a virtual platform, with informal meetings to be held in April, and final modalities to be decided by the Co-Chairs, and following consultations with Committee members, and that the decisions of the Committee shall be adopted through a silence procedure.  Adopting the draft decision “Report of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management on its tenth session and provisional agenda and dates of the eleventh session of the Committee” contained in document E/2021/46, members rescheduled it to be held at United Nations Headquarters from 4 to 6 August.

The representative of the United States, supporting the report’s adoption, underscored the importance of prioritizing transparency regarding geospatial management facilities.  All rules and measures for running such facilities must be consistent with United Nations norms for data management, he added.

The Council then adopted draft decision I, “Improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:  extension of the mandate of the standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”, recommended by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in document E/2020/30 and by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Report in document E/2020/28/Add.1.  In doing so, it decided to extend the working group’s mandate, as set out in Council decision 2017/236, until December, when the Commissions’ reconvened sessions can carry out a thorough review and consider a mandate extension beyond 2021.

Next, the Council adopted draft decision II, “Report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its regular and reconvened twenty-ninth sessions and provisional agenda for its thirtieth session”, contained in document E/2020/30, taking note of both the report and agenda.  It also adopted draft decision II, “Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its reconvened sixty-third session”, contained in document E/2020/28/Add.1, taking note of that report.

For information media. Not an official record.