ECOSOC’s 2015 Review and Beyond

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The Economic and Social Council convened on this day for a briefing on the international economy of 2015 and what to expect and strive for in 2016. Mr. Montiel opened the briefing with the introduction of World Economic Situations and Prospects (WESP) report, which was further discussed in detail in a presentation by Mr. Rashid. The presentation addressed the global and regional financial outcomes of 2015, and projected expected change in 2016 and beyond. Globally, there was a slowdown in growth, with expectations for economic growth in 2016 of about 2.9%. This presentation showed further concerns about the global economy due to economic volatilities and uncertainties that impeded global growth. Global oil prices were shown to have dropped by more than 70% since July 2014, and global commodity prices fell by more than 20% since then as well. The presentation featured regional GDP growths from 2015 and expected growths in 2016, and identified possible dangers to economic growths in each region. Mr. Rashid concluded with recommendations that urged policymakers to reduce economic uncertainties and create macro-prudential policies. He also warned that weak employment growth and high unemployment rates will post a significant challenge to poverty reduction and the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

His Excellency Oh Joon then presented the ECOSOC agenda for 2016, and each program was presented by Vice Presidents of ECOSOC. The most immediate programs to come are Youth Forum (February) and Partnership Forum (March).

Further comments were made by delegations from the European Union, United States, Mexico, Japan, Palau, Colombia.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council – 2016 Session Briefing

Date/Location: 20 Jan 2016; 10:00 – 13:00; Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: His Excellency Oh Joon, President of ECOSOC; Lenni Montiel, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development, DESA; Hamid Rashid, DESA, Development Policy and Analysis Division; Sven Jürgenson, Vice President, ECOSOC; Alejandro Palma, Vice President, ECOSOC; Frederick Shava, Vice President, ECOSOC; Jürg Lauber, Vice President, ECOSOC

Written by: WIT Representative Dongeun Kim

Edited by: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: OCHA/Vincent Fung

Second Committee: Operational Activities for Development

6365386329_f24a5e7976_zMs. Zina Mounla stated that in response to ECOSOC resolution 2013/5, the full analysis of funding of United Nations operational activities for development has, for the first time, been merged into the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review. The funding analysis consolidates financial data on contributions and expenditures of the UN entities that reported funding for operational activities for development in 2012. Together, the UN operational activities for development account for approximately 60 per cent of the funding for all UN system-wide activities. Peacekeeping operations accounted for about 20 per cent, while the global norm and standard setting, policy and advocacy functions of the United Nations system accounted for the remaining 20 per cent. The funding environment remains challenging as almost all of this growth was in the form of non-core resources.

She further noted that while an increase in core funding remains a priority, contributions from countries towards their own country programmes and private sector partnerships are key elements to these strategies. Mr. Gopinathan Achamkulangare introduced JIU’s report on the ‘Selection and appointment process for United Nations Resident Coordinators, including preparation, training and support provided for their work.’ The report provides an assessment of the operation of the existing selection and appointment process for the UN Resident Coordinators, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the related institutional support mechanism, including the preparation, training and support provided. The report identifies and analyses the existing challenges faced in the selection and appointment process of Resident Coordinators and makes recommendations aimed at improving it.

Mr. Yiping Zhou introduced the report of the Secretary-General on “The State of South-South cooperation”. This report reviews the main trends and progress made by the UN development system to bolster support to South-South and triangular cooperation for development over the past year. Mr Zhou highlighted that there are enormous opportunities for South-South cooperation in achieving the internationally-agreed development goals, including the MDGs, while anticipating the post-2015 development agenda. Furthermore, the report recommended the establishment of an interagency coordination mechanism under the UNDG to enhance and support the south-south cooperation. It also recommended focusing UN support on those areas where it has previously proved more effective.

Meeting: 26th and 27th Meetings of the Second Committee: Operational activities for development (A/69/215) [item 24]
Date: 29 October 2014
Speakers: Ms. Zina Mounla (DESA on behalf of Assistant Secretary General, Thomas Gass); Mr.Gopinathan Achamkulangare (Inspector, JIU); Mr. Yiping Zhou (Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation).
Location: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York.
Written by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

The Economic and Social Council Sets the Stage for its 2015 Session

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Today the opening of the 2015 Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was held at the United Nations Headquarters, where the ECOSOC adopted a provisional agenda and took action on two draft decisions.

Mr. Sajdik congratulated the 2014 Session for being successful. In its 2014 session, the ECOSOC integrated the Segment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the First High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The HLPF met under the Council Auspices, further consolidating sustainable development within the framework of the UN system and solidifying the implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda.

Mr. Sajdik added that the council aims to build on the 2014 achievements for the 2015 session. The new session will be significant as it coincides with the negotiations toward the development of the post-2015 agenda. The session will include in-depth reviews of internationally agreed goals, a developmental operational forum and an examination of the constantly evolving trends in development cooperation. All of these objectives will be supported by the functional organs, regional bodies and committees. Mr Sajdik emphasized that engagement should be deepened among members states and civil society members in order to achieve successful outcomes.

The Council successfully adopted it’s provisional agenda and the draft decisions based on two themes: “Managing the Transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals:  What Will it Take?” and  “Achieving Sustainable Development Through Employment Creation and Decent Work for All.”

Meeting Title: Opening of the 2015 Session of the Economic and Social Council

Speakers: H. E Mr. Martin Sajdik (Austria), Council President.

Location: Economic and Social Council, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Date: 21 July 2014

Summary Written by WIT Representative: Nusrat Laskar

Edited by: Suzy Hallak

Forum on Youth 2014

In accordance with UN General Assembly resolution 68/1, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) should further promote the integration of youth into its deliberations, building on the past positive experiences of informal youth forums.

From the 2-3, June 2014 the United Nations was home to youth delegates, representatives from the Children and Youth Major Groups, youth representatives from Member States, including those from National Youth Councils, representatives of regional youth organisations as well as youth-led and youth focused organisations and networks, including those in consultative status with ECOSOC.

The aim of the Youth Forum was to bring the voice of young people into discussion on addressing the challenges for meeting the Millennium Development Goals and shaping the post-2015 development agenda. During the opening ceremony, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon remarked, “There is a world of need out there, but also a world of opportunity. So I urge you to keep doing your part. Keep showing your leadership as global citizens” while urging attendees to “keep making a difference”. The Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi spotlighted five thematic areas; education, employment and entrepreneurship, health, peace and security, and governance  as the greatest concern that threaten youth development in nation states. These areas were condensed after engaging more than 1.2 million young people through the My World 2015 survey and a crowdsourcing platform convened by UN agencies and partners. World Information Transfer’s DPI Representative, Apurv Gupta, was ranked 5 in the overall community, sharing recommendations on all thematic issues.

It was observed at the forums conclusion that employment was the key area young people wanted world leaders to focus on during the construction of the post-2015 development agenda. Currently, 75 million youth are unemployed, and more than 600 million jobs need to be generated globally in the life span of the new development agenda to absorb current unemployment levels and provide jobs to new labour market entrants.

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Meeting Title: ECOSOC Youth Forum 2014
Speakers: H.E. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, H.E. Martin Sajdik (Austria), President of the Economic and Social Council, H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations and Co-Chair, Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goal, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Youth Representatives.
Location: United Nations HQ, Conference Room 1 (CB)
Date: 3 June 2014
Written by WIT representatives:  Apurv Gupta and Aslesha Dhillon