UNGA Resumes Consultations on Strengthening ECOSOC

ECOSOC28 August 2013: UN Member States have resumed consultations on the process to review implementation of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 61/16 on strengthening the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Delegates conducted a general review of the latest draft text, and consultations are expected to continue the first week of September.

The fifth informal informal meeting of the consultations took place on 28 August 2013, at UN Headquarters in New York, NY.

Ahead of the resumed consultations, the co-facilitators, Ambassador Bénédicte Frankinet of Belgium and Ambassador George Talbot of Guyana, collected input from delegations and compiled a draft compromise text, which was circulated shortly before the meeting.

The co-facilitators' draft includes one page of resolution text and a five-page annex. The annex outlines changes to the timing of the ECOSOC cycle and segment structure and timelines. It calls for an issues-based approach to the Council's work, a more responsive role, mechanisms to address countries in special situations, strengthened stakeholder involvement, and a flexible Secretariat, inter alia.

It also specifies a transitional plan to implement the changes in 2014 and 2015. The transitional plan accounts for phasing out the Council's Annual Ministerial Review, as called for in UNGA resolution 67/290 of 9 July 2013, and absorbing its functions into the Council as a whole.

Also according to the proposed transitional plan, a three-day integration meeting will facilitate an exchange of views on preparing for the post-2015 development agenda, consolidating inputs from the Council's subsidiary bodies and Member States, and discussing the balanced integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development. [Previous IISD RS Story on 61/16 Consultations] [ECOSOC Webpage on 61/16 Review] [IISD RS Sources]