Report on Strengthening ECOSOC Highlights Need for “Transformative Vision”

ECOSOC15 May 2013: The co-facilitators of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) process to review the implementation of Resolution 61/16 on the strengthening of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) have released a report summarizing the seven open-ended consultations held in New York between December 2012 and February 2013. The report covers the general trends and potential deliverables that emerged from the discussions, and includes draft elements for a resolution.

In the report, the co-facilitators of the process, Benedicte Frankinet, Permanent Representative of Belgium, and George Talbot, Permanent Representative of Guyana, highlight the need for a "transformative vision" of strengthening of the Council, in order to improve its ability to attract stakeholders, address emerging issues, improve coordination among development actors, and implement the three dimensions of sustainable development. The report points to the mandate of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcome document for ECOSOC to follow-up on major UN conferences and to integrate sustainable development. The report discusses general trends for elevating the importance of ECOSOC, and stresses the need for the annual main theme to be taken up by all relevant bodies within ECOSOC.

The report includes recommendations to the UNGA, ECOSOC Plenary and Bureau, and the Secretariat. On the ongoing process to establish the high-level political forum for sustainable development (HLPF), the report describes potential means of coordination between ECOSOC and the forum, and suggests a phased approach to implement reforms, with the necessary decisions being negotiated by Member States within the UNGA. [Report of the Co-Facilitators] [IISD RS Story on ECOSOC Reform Consultations] [IISD RS Story on UN Secretary-General's Contribution]