Global Policy Forum

UN Economic and Social Forum Ends With Calls For Implementation of Decisions

Following the conclusion of the yearly ECOSOC summit in Geneva (July 4-8, 2011), ECOSOC President Lazarous Kapambwe highlighted the “number of decisions and resolutions” negotiated by the Council at the session, but said that “real success” should be measured by the implementation of these decisions. Development was a key theme of the meeting. The importance of aid effectiveness, international cooperation, reconstruction, and nation-building was discussed in relation to Somalia, South Sudan, Haiti, and the Horn of Africa.  The Council passed a resolution to review the implementation of the Istanbul Program, which lays out strategies for sustainable development in LDCs. Strategies to improve access and quality of education to fight poverty were also considered.

UN News Centre
July 29, 2011

The President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today urged the implementation of decisions made at the body’s substantive session this year, which focused on the importance of education as a catalyst for the achievement of the global goals against poverty.

“We addressed issues of access to education, particularly of the girl child; the quality of education; the partnerships and financing needed; the need to ensure that education equips our youth with skills needed by our economies and the jobs markets; and we shared best practices and experiences,” said Lazarous Kapambwe, the ECOSOC President, at the end of the session in Geneva.

He said the Council also underscored that the UN system should respond fast to the needs of Least Development Countries (LDCs) and countries recovering from or in conflict, as well as middle income economies.

“We have agreed on the follow-up to the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries by adopting a resolution including the review of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action in the 2015 annual ministerial review,” said Mr. Kapambwe.

He said the Council’s humanitarian affairs segment stressed the need for strong financial partnerships and fast and response capabilities.

“We took the opportunity to discuss the drought in the Horn of Africa and conflict in Somalia, as well as how we can assist in promoting dialogue on nation-building in South Sudan. On Haiti, the Council reviewed the report of its Ad Hoc Advisory Group, which includes a series of recommendations on aid effectiveness for reconstruction and long-term development,” said Mr. Kapambwe.

ECOSOC also established a new UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management, which he said would bring together, for the first time at the global level, government experts from all Member States to compile and disseminate best practices and experiences on geospatial information, in the context of sustainable development and humanitarian assistance.

“We have taken a number of decisions and resolutions at this session, as we always do and are expected to do, during ECOSOC’s substantive session. But it would be regrettable if our success is measured by the number of these decisions, or how good many of them are.

“The real success of this session should be determined by the extent to which we shall implement these decisions,” said Mr. Kapambwe.

Nikhil Seth, the outgoing Director of ECOSOC’s Office for Support and Coordination, said emphasis should be on monitoring the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; improving the results of development cooperation and responding quickly to humanitarian crises.

“We must avoid, as [United Kingdom’s] former prime minister Gordon Brown cautioned, a future marked by ‘broken promises, broken, dreams, broken trust’,” said Mr. Seth.


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