ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

ECOSOC ADOPTS TEXTS ON UNAIDS, NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPMENT

ECOSOC ADOPTS TEXTS ON UNAIDS, NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR DEVELOPMENT
Holds Panel Discussion on Drug-control, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the Context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda; Hears General Discussion on Economic and Environmental Questions
22 July 2013

The Economic and Social Council this morning adopted texts in which it urged UNAIDS to continue to support the full and effective implementation of the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and requested the Secretary-General to establish the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases.  It also adopted three recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and a number of reports. 

At the beginning of the meeting, ECOSOC held a panel discussion on drug-control, crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, and a general discussion on economic and environmental questions.

Under its agenda item on coordination, programme and other questions, ECOSOC adopted a decision on the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in which it urged UNAIDS to continue to support the full and effective implementation of the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS; and a decision on the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in which it requested the Secretary-General to establish the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases.

The Council adopted three recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its sixtieth session concerning the assessment of the progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society; science, technology and innovation for development; and on the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its sixteenth session and provisional agenda and documentation for the seventeenth session of the Commission.

ECOSOC also adopted the calendar of conferences and meetings in the economic, social and related fields; the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination at its Fifty-third session (3-28 June 2013); the annual overview report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination for 2012; and the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015.

India and Russia spoke introducing resolutions.  India also took the floor before the adoption of the resolution on the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases.

At the beginning of the meeting, ECOSOC held a panel discussion on the importance of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, including the issue of human trafficking.

Martin Sajdik, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that crime-related violence, transnational organized crime, and drug and human trafficking undermined the ability of the international community to reach global development goals.  It was therefore critical to identify and prevent the various forms of criminal activities which hampered development progress and to make sure that justice prevailed, and to consider the interrelationships between development, justice and security in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development framework. 

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said that the Vienna-based Economic and Social Council’s functional commissions were at the forefront of addressing these challenges to sustainable development.  Security, justice and the rule of law mattered for the achievement of development outcomes.  The Council also had a role to play and as the world came together to renew a partnership for change, it was important to note that addressing challenges related to crime were crucial for ensuring sustainable development for all.

Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, Vienna, and Chair of the twenty-second session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, said that since its establishment in 1992, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice had been an important player in shaping laws and policies to address transnational organized crime, corruption and in promoting standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice.  Addressing crime and achieving development were interdependent and mutually reinforcing goals. 

Khaled Abdelrahman Shamaa, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations, Vienna, and First Vice-Chair of the fifty-sixth session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, said the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was the leading United Nations policy-making body on international drug control.  In 2016 the General Assembly would hold a special session on the world drug problem and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was expected to play a leading role in the preparatory process. 

Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations, Vienna, said that the work of the Vienna-based Commission was highly relevant for all dimensions of development and underlined the importance of frequent interaction between Geneva, Vienna and New York to ensure better coordination of priorities and tasks between related agencies and commissions.  Crime prevention, criminal justice, the rule of law and sustainable development were inextricably connected.

Ernesto Savona, Professor of Criminology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, indicated that while crime and development influenced each other, it was not automatic that more development produced less crime, nor that more crime produced less development.  Specific efforts should be carried out on the basis of data on organized crime and a clear understanding of how it changed.  Justice was a relevant issue to combat organized crime but it was important to move to the perspective of addressing the conditions that made organized crime profitable and reduce opportunities.

During the discussion, speakers highlighted the importance of drug-control, crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.  Delegations highlighted the importance of cooperation, vertical and horizontal, among United Nations bodies and other international organizations, as well as support for national measures being undertaken.  Speakers commended the expert work carried out by the Vienna-based functional Commissions, but it was noted that increasing visibility was also necessary in New York in order to move forward these as well as cooperation with other bodies in Geneva.  Delegations also noted the importance of data collection and sharing and the need of building on a clear assessment of the achievements made in the context of the Millennium Development Goals.

Speaking in the discussion were Austria, Guatemala, Bolivia, Honduras, Mexico, United States, El Salvador, Colombia, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Kenya, Venezuela and Egypt.

The Council also took up its agenda item on economic and environmental questions, hearing the introduction of two reports and then holding a general debate.

Anne Miroux, Director for the Division on Technology and Logistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, introducing the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels, said that while there had been an increase in the number of users in both developed and developing countries, there remained a significant digital divide. 

Miguel Palomino De La Gala, Chairperson of the Sixteenth Session of the Commission on Science and Technology (Peru), said the work undertaken by the Commission on Science and Technology was highly relevant to science, technology and innovation issues in the United Nations system.  Science and technology approaches played an essential role in promoting sustainable development solutions, including green economies and sustainable cities. 

During the discussion, Lithuania speaking on behalf of the European Union, Russia, Belarus, South Africa, Venezuela and Japan took the floor

The Council will resume its work this afternoon, at 3 p.m., when it will address the situation of African countries emerging from conflict and hold a panel discussion on “Lessons learned on integrated, coherent and coordinated support to countries emerging from conflict”.

Panel Discussion on the Importance of Drug Control, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the Context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including the Issue of Human Trafficking

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said crime-related violence, transnational organized crime and drug and human trafficking undermined the ability of the international community to reach global development goals.  It was therefore critical to identify and prevent the various forms of criminal activities which hampered development progress, to make sure that justice prevailed, and to consider the interrelationships between development, justice and security in the context of the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development framework.  The Economic and Social Council offered a platform to stimulate dialogue on critical development issues, building on the work of its functional commissions and connecting them to other dimensions of the development agenda; and it should continue to explore all possible means to promote the work already carried out in the field of crime prevention, criminal justice and drug control by the United Nations system and to consider it as an integral part of the construction of the post-2015 development agenda. 

YURI FEDOTOV, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said that the Vienna-based Economic and Social Council’s functional commissions were at the forefront of addressing these challenges to sustainable development.  Mr. Fedotov welcomed the decision of the Economic and Social Council to take some time from its session to address these questions.  Concerning the importance of drug-control, criminal matters and justice in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, Mr. Fedotov noted that the report of the panel on the post-2015 development agenda identified a number of transformative shifts, including the building of peace and open and accountable institutions for all, freedom from violence being a fundamental human right. 

Security, justice and the rule of law affected the achievement of development outcomes.  It was important to find appropriate indicators and measurements for the rule of law, justice and security, as pertaining to the development agenda.  In this regard, a more coordinated approach was needed and the Office had organized a recent meeting in Vienna to bring together the various streams of work into a simple framework.  The recommendations would be reflected in a paper to inform the Working Group on Governance and Peace in February 2014 in New York and to the work with the Human Rights Council on human rights and the rule of law.  The Office would try to support the ongoing dialogue to bring together issues of criminal justice and crime prevention, on the one hand, and sustainable development on the other.  The Council also had a role to play and as the world came together to renew a partnership for change, it was important to note that addressing challenges related to crime were crucial for ensuring sustainable development for all.

XOLISA MFUNDISO MABHONGO, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations in Vienna, said that since its establishment in 1992, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice had been an important player in shaping laws and policies to address transnational organized crime and corruption and in promoting standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice.  Addressing crime and achieving development were interdependent and mutually reinforcing goals.  On the one hand, poverty, inequalities, lack of education, high population growth, rapid urbanization and social exclusion and marginalization were root causes of crime.  On the other hand, crime-related violence, organized crime and illicit trafficking caused further impoverishment by affecting the security of communities and the productivity of society.  Corruption deprived States and economic actors of vital resources.  The importance of crime prevention and criminal justice was recently underlined by the United Nations High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda.  The active involvement of the Council would be crucial in order to ensure visibility and political momentum for these important issues.  The Council had an important role to play in ensuring the integrated and coordinated implementation of, and follow up to, the outcomes of all major United Nations conferences.  There was a concrete opportunity for the Council to strengthen its engagement and it should consider holding a special event to raise awareness of the outcome of the Thirteenth Congress in 2015 and so support the follow-up action decided upon by the twenty-fourth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.  The Council was in a unique position to support a comprehensive and coherent follow-up action by all relevant stakeholders.

KHALED ABDELRAHMAN SHAMAA, Ambassador of Egypt and Vice-Chairperson of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, said the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was the leading United Nations policy-making body on international drug control.  In 2016 the General Assembly would hold a special session on the world drug problem, and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs was expected to play a leading role in the preparatory process.  The Commission on Narcotic Drugs would present its proposals, via ECOSOC, on progress made in the implementation of the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem.  The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, at its fifty-sixth session in March 2013, acknowledged its role in assisting Member States to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and address the world drug situation.  Later this week ECOSOC would consider a draft resolution entitled ‘United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development’, which was approved by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March, and was expected to be transmitted to the General Assembly for adoption.  The draft resolution reaffirmed that development-orientated drug policies and programmes should be undertaken in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals, taking into account the specific situation of countries and regions. 

Taking steps against organized crime and drug trafficking was of crucial importance to achieving the goal of ensuring stable and peaceful societies.  The United Nations would consider the relevance of drug control at two important coming meetings: the high-level review by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in March 2014; and the General Assembly special session on the world drug problem, to be held early in 2016.  The Commission on Narcotic Drugs was ready to strengthen its interaction with ECOSOC and proposed that ECOSOC hold a special event during its substantive session in 2014 to discuss the outcome of the March 2014 high-level review in the context of the broader development agenda, and to provide all stakeholders with a broader ECOSOC perspective on the specific relevance of drug issues in implementing the global development agenda beyond 2015.

Princess BAJRAKITIYABHA MAHIDOL, Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations in Vienna, said that based on her experience as former Chairperson of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and as a bureau member of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the work of the Vienna-based Commission was highly relevant for all dimensions of development.  Princess Abha underlined the importance of frequent interaction between Geneva, Vienna and New York to ensure better coordination of priorities and tasks between related agencies and commissions.  Crime prevention, criminal justice, the rule of law and sustainable development were inextricably connected.  Poverty was the root cause of crime, while crimes weakened the rule of law and hindered socio-economic development. 

During this ECOSOC session Thailand had tabled two draft resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly, which would be considered by ECOSOC in the coming days.  The first was to further advance preparations for the Thirteenth United Nations Crime Congress; the second was on the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice in the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015.  During its 2013 session the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice also recommended draft resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly on the subject of taking action against gender-related killing of women and girls, which included an offer from Thailand to host an intergovernmental expert group meeting in 2014 that would make practical recommendations.  A draft resolution had also been recommended on practical measures to eliminate violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.  Princess Abha also highlighted the issue of trafficking in persons, which she said should be considered in relation with crime, poverty and lack of education, particularly in rural areas.  Practical recommendations to combat trafficking included closing gaps in law enforcement, systematic data collection and pursuing evidence-based research as a basis for policy-making.  Finally, standardization in domestic legislation of the definition of trafficking in persons, in accordance with the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, would more effectively facilitate cooperation in the fields of mutual legal assistance and extradition. 

ERNESTO SAVONA, Professor of Criminology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, highlighted the quality of the work of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime and its connection with the research world.  Concerning crime and development, Mr. Savona noted that the United Nations had defined three possible scenarios to integrate security and criminal justice into the post-2015 agenda.  The first and second scenarios were designed to formulate common goals and measures to address specific aspects and good governance.  The third scenario seemed to be a better tool since it could capture the specificities of each country, because the relationships between crime, drugs and development varied.  While crime and development influenced each other, it was not automatic that more development produced less crime, nor that more crime produced less development.  When the rule of law was lacking and or organized crime grew the relationship between crime and development was distorted, such as maritime piracy, the positive correlation between both crime and development in Mexico, and the influence of Italian Mafias on development.  Specific efforts should be carried out on the basis of data on organized crime and a clear understanding of how it had changed.  Knowledge and measurements on how organized crime was evolving and changing was necessary.  This kind of model needed to take into account how organized crime was exploiting development and making sustainability difficult.  Justice was a relevant issue to combat organized crime but it was important to move to the perspective of addressing the conditions that made organized crime profitable.

Austria said that the impact of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice for sustainable development could not be overestimated.  The two functional Commissions based in Vienna, on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and on Narcotic Drugs, had a crucial role to play.  The rule of law was a fundamental pillar for growth and social wellbeing, and was an essential element in the prevention of organized crime and corruption.  Corruption hindered common efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and divert investment and, therefore, development activities should include anti-corruption mechanisms.  The post-2015 development agenda should be guided by respect for and the promotion of the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice

Guatemala said the global drug problem had political, environmental, social and economic consequences.  The United Nations Secretary-General had, in a resolution, insisted that the international community carry out a broad-based debate on all issues related to the drug problem, including the special session of the General Assembly on the global drug problem.  The high-level review of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs scheduled for March 2014 would be a key arena for that debate.  Turning to the phenomenon of violence against women and its link to impunity, Guatemala said the ongoing problem stemmed from weaknesses in the rule of law. 

Bolivia expressed concerns about the United Nations’ current drug-control strategies, which provided a military and repressive answer to the problem and had not provided satisfactory results.  The expansion of the arms trade had led to tremendous violations of human rights.  Bolivia had nationalized the fight against drugs.  It had done so by taking measures such as an increase in prosecutions of criminals, enhancing cooperation with neighbouring countries, and by agreeing strategies to tackle production of narcotic crops.  Bolivia had also reached an agreement with the coco leaf growers which enabled it to establish sovereignty over coco leaf crops. 

Honduras said there were three crucial concepts relating to tackling organized crime.  First, the urgency because it was a priority issue, second, action because they needed to move from statements, congresses and parliaments to action; and thirdly cooperation – both regionally and globally – there was fertile ground for organized crime in the world and while there was an active market for drugs there would be scope for both organized crime and corruption.  The greatest problem was the weakness of institutions.  Impunity was a problem, but there often was not the means to identify individual criminals.

Mexico highlighted horizontal and vertical fields of coordination and said that, given the multiple linkages developed among criminal activities, including among the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime and other bodies and international organizations, it was also important to think about the post-2015 in relation to the different axes of coordination.  The implementation of policies and legally binding instruments was also important, including the enforcement across the board of the instruments available.  The Arms Trade Treaty had been recently adopted and efforts would have to be made to incorporate these elements in the post-2015 agenda. 

United States gave priority to strengthening the rule of law and the opportunity to raise awareness and discuss in the context of the Council the latest developments in the Vienna-based commissions.  Drug-control and wide crime-related issues played a crucial role in post-2015 development issues and, while it was important to enhance coordination between Vienna, Geneva and New York, it remained important to reinforce the decision making role of the Commissions.  The United States did not support the idea of holding a special event and was concerned about the cost implications of holding such an event among non-experts. 
    
El Salvador said the role played by the post-2015 development agenda was crucial, and one critical related issue was the production of technical reports by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  Those reports were invaluable, as they contained data collected from individual States; the importance of statistics, data gathering and data analysis could not be understated.  El Salvador appealed to all present to continue the dialogue which was crucial to the work not only of ECOSOC, the Commissions and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs but also to the work of the United Nations in general. 

Colombia, said that the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime demonstrated the importance of cooperation within ECOSOC.  The discussions which took place over the last few years to define the post 2015 development agenda were important as they set out concrete objectives; the challenge was not only the eradication of poverty but of making it sustainable and irreversible.  All of the issues United Nations agencies looked at were linked to development, and needed to be discussed internationally. 

Thailand said it had tabled and co-sponsored with key countries six resolutions on the Vienna based Commissions, which would be presented to the Council during this segment.  Given Thailand’s strategic location in the region, it had actively worked to address the challenges that came with being a source, transit and destination of various forms of transnational organiZed crime; special units had been established within the law enforcement agencies to handle trafficking cases and multi-stakeholder cooperation, public-private partnerships, and inter-alliance agency had been enhanced with a key role for civil society. 

South Africa said that crime could result in significant setbacks on development efforts and highlighted important elements, such as the issue of violence against women and trafficking and the encouragement of specific national legislation against human trafficking, particularly in Africa where many countries did not count with such legislation.  Finally, South Africa supported the holding of special events, since while issues could be raised in Vienna from an expert level, their visibility was below the one required in New York for the political focus to move these issues forward.

Russia said it considered the fight against illegal trafficking of drugs and related crimes as priorities; ensuring the coordinating role of the United Nations and development agencies was the key to success.  Russia was specifically concerned about the production of narcotic drugs in Afghanistan, which instead of decreasing was actually growing.  It was also important to prevent the use of modern information and communications technology for criminal purposes. 

Kenya said piracy was a specific form of organized crime.  Kenya had felt the impact of piracy along its Indian Ocean coastline, which had impacted negatively not only on Kenyan’s economy but also on the regional and international trade route which passed through the Indian Ocean.  The stabilization of Somalia was key to further reducing opportunities for criminal activities.  The international community, the regional governments and the African community should continue to act closely to stabilize Somalia and hence reduce the greatest opportunity for piracy along the Indian Ocean coastline.  

Venezuela said that it was not possible to address specific aspects without a comprehensive review of the Millennium Development Goals.  How would it be possible to address, for example, the social determinants of crime-related challenges without fully assessing the achievements made in the context of the Millennium Development Goals?  Some United Nations bodies, such as the Security Council, had looked at these aspects without having the mandate to do so, thus posing the threat of securitising the development agenda.

Egypt said that in recent years international organized crime had expanded, jeopardizing security and causing human misery.  A number of elements should be highlighted in this context such as data collection and information, prioritising the most significant threats, coordination and strengthening partnerships to combat crime, and increasing awareness, especially concerning human trafficking to reduce the vulnerability of potential victims.  Allocating funds in this area would assist the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to be more effective.
         
YURY FEDETOV, Moderator of the Panel and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in concluding remarks, thanked the participants for their contributions to the dialogue and said it was clear that ECOSOC had a greater role to play.  Last year the President of ECOSOC took part in a very productive meeting with the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Mr. Fedetov encouraged further interaction between high-level ECOSOC officials and the United Nations Commissions.  The Commissions were not only expert bodies but were also the sole policy-making bodies in the areas of prevention of drug use and tackling criminal activity.  Their meetings were high level, often attended by Ministers, and set mandates for the activities of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.  The guidance ECOSOC received from the Commissions was very important.  Responding to some specific comments, Mr. Fedetov agreed with Austria on the need to focus on the fight against corruption.  The drug policies debate had showed a clear road map and programme of action was already in place, and included the high-level review of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2014 and the General Assembly special session scheduled for 2016. 

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs would play a leading role in preparing for those.  As Kenya said, there may be several reasons for the decrease in piracy acts off the coast of East Africa, but it was partly due to the actions of the international community, Mr. Fedetov said.  A new programme on maritime crime would soon be launched that would provide technical assistance to Member States.  Finally, Mr. Fedetov recalled that the United Nations Secretary-General had established a task force on vertical coordination which was working closely with United Nations agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; the International Organization for Migration and UNAIDS. 

Documentation

The Council has before it a report on progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels (A/68/65–E/2013/11)

The Council has before it the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development at its sixteenth session (3-7 June 2013)  (E/2013/31)

Economic and Environmental Questions

ANNE MIROUX, Director for the Division on Technology and Logistics of the UNCTAD, introducing the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels (A/68/65–E/2013/11), said that there had been an increase in the number of users in both developed and developing countries.  There remained a significant digital divide, even though there had been improvements regarding access; the Secretary-General’s report noted that subscription rates were much higher in developing countries which were associated with problems of infrastructure and costs for users.  The convergence of technology and the disappearances of differences and distinction between different sectors led to the use of similar applications in different factors, reflecting a sophisticated access to information.  Another important trend concerned the use of smart phones and this growth had been accompanied by a great diversification of services provided, which required adaptation.  A third development referred to cloud networking and the report noted the flexibility and sophisticated services that could be obtained through cloud computer.  The report also noted the impact on local enterprises and the growth of interactive application, Internet 2.0, social networks and other services.  This reflected the use of information and communication technologies, which was now covering broad areas.  For example, e-government, e-health and e-agriculture, and the opportunities thus offered.  The report had also looked at different initiatives taken at the international level in order to look into all of these issues, including a number of activities related to a general review of the implementation of the results of the WSIS+10 Review and the Internet Governance Forum.  

MIGUEL PALOMINO DE LA GALA, Chairperson of the Sixteenth Session of the Commission on Science and Technology (Peru), said the work undertaken by the Commission on Science and Technology was highly relevant to science, technology and innovation issues in the United Nations system.  Investment in science and technology, and particularly information technology, had a positive impact on development by offering solutions to overcoming challenges.  Science and technology approaches played an essential role in promoting sustainable development solutions, including green economies and sustainable cities.  Local knowledge was crucial to developing science and technology solutions that addressed local challenges.  Financing was a key element.  New and innovative business models were needed to capitalize on development opportunities.  There was a need to distinguish between high and low technologies, although all forms of technology was important.  Greater efforts were needed to foster technological know-how and innovation capabilities in developing countries.  Information and communication technology and broadband access should be seen as empowering mechanisms for development.  Bridging the digital divide was critical.  In many developing countries the cost of mobile technologies and broadband access was still high, meaning that broadband penetration remained relatively low.  Access to information and communication technology should form an intrinsic part of the promotion of investment in science and technology capabilities through a global partnership for development.  Finally, strong policy and networks were needed while a culture of scientific development should be embedded through education.  Mr. de la Gala called on ECOSOC to continue its work on science, technology and innovation issues. 

Lithuania, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the draft resolution to be adopted today on follow-up to the World Summit on Information Society reaffirmed that the Commission on Science and Technology would continue its important role in collecting information from States on progress made in implementing outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.  The European Union would actively participate in the forthcoming discussions and looked forward to the outcomes of the individual reviews being taken by the committees of the World Summit on Information Society. 

Russia said that over the last decade the world had made incredible strides in information and communication: the internet had changed, social networks had been developed, and the launch of advanced portable devices had changed the way in which human beings communicated, leading to profound economic and social consequences.  Information and communication technologies were powerful and influential tools already, but they could make an even more significant contribution in achieving global development goals.

Belarus highlighted the applied nature of the conclusions and recommendations of the report, in the context of national science and technology policies, and stressed the need for support from the United Nations to better involve young people in scientific activities.  It was very important for the Council to continue to pay attention to questions related to information and communication technologies and positive steps and activities taken by the United Nations Commission of Science and Technology and International Telecommunications Union on broadband.

South Africa said that the mandate of the Council was important to mainstream science and technology into the existing development agenda.  Complementary interventions and equitable partnerships would be necessary; and through technology sustainable development and access to a better quality of life would be possible.  Human capital development was a crucial part of development in this area and support for national efforts of developing countries was needed.  Unfortunately, property rights often prevented the access of the most needed to the products of science.

Venezuela said that information and communication technologies were not fairly distributed and countries which did not have them should be supported.  International cooperation to promote the transfer of technology and development were needed.  Joint work had to be done to promote national research and Governments should work together with the private sector and service providers.  Open software and open databases were necessary to strengthen science, technology and information activities.  Venezuela also highlighted the importance of the protection of traditional knowledge.

Japan said information and communication technologies played a major role in developing smart and sustainable cities, in strengthening science and technology and engineering for innovation, and in developing a knowledge society on a global scale.  Introduction of a broadband network was meaningful for facilitating the utilization of information and communication technologies.  A competitive market of broadband networks would effectively enhance the diffusion of the broadband network.  Japan hoped that the utilization of information communication technology would be increasingly promoted and would thus contribute to addressing problems faced by countries, especially developing countries.

Action on Texts under Agenda Item 13 (b) Science and Technology for Development
Action on Texts contained in the Report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its Sixtieth Session, as contained in document

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, invited the Council to take action on the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its sixtieth session, as contained in document (E/2013/31).

In a resolution on the assessment of the progress made in the implementation of  and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (E/2013/31), the Council notes the ongoing implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society; recognizes the importance of enhanced cooperation in the future, to enable Governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities, in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, but not in the day-to-day technical and operational matters that do not impact on international public policy issues;  recognizes the importance of the Internet Governance Forum and its mandate as a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue on various matters;  urges United Nations entities still not actively cooperating in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit through the United Nations system to take the necessary steps and commit to a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented information society, and to catalyse the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals; requests the Commission to collect inputs from all facilitators and stakeholders and to organize a substantive discussion during its seventeenth session in 2014 on the progress made in the implementation of the World Summit outcomes, and to report, through the Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly as it makes an overall review of the implementation of the World Summit outcomes in 2015; also requests the Commission to submit, after its eighteenth session, its ten-year review of progress made in the implementation of the World Summit outcomes, through the Economic and Social Council, to the General Assembly as it makes an overall review of the implementation of the World Summit outcomes in 2015; and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission, on a yearly basis, a report on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the present resolution as well as in the other Council resolutions on the assessment of the quantitative and qualitative progress made in the implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the World Summit.

In a resolution on Science, technology and innovation for development (E/2013/31), the Council decides to make the following recommendations for consideration by national Governments, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, for Governments, individually and collectively, to take into account the findings of the Commission and consider taking the following actions, including, governance mechanisms that facilitate innovative, integrated and multidisciplinary urban and peri-urban community planning; urban projects should include targeted end users and participation from relevant departments responsible for spatial planning, housing, water supply, energy  supply, mobility, communications, health and sanitation, education and skills training, waste management, environmental protection, security and disaster resilience; to put in place regulatory frameworks at the national, regional and local levels that mainstream issues of sustainability into urban projects and support business models that scale innovative solutions; to encourage the integration of information and communications technologies into the infrastructure of cities, where appropriate, to increase the efficiency of services, food supply and mobility; to provide for the safety, security and productivity of citizens; and to reduce environmental impacts.  In the resolution, the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development are encouraged to continue its role as a torch-bearer for innovation and to provide high-level advice to the Council and the General Assembly on relevant science, technology and engineering for innovation issues, raise awareness among policymakers about the process of innovation and identify particular opportunities for developing countries to benefit from such innovation; to provide a forum for building repositories of best practices, successful local innovation models, case studies and experience on the use of science, technology and engineering for innovation in symbiotic relationship with information and communications technologies for sustainability, management, and to provide solutions for challenges in key urban sectors in developing countries considering the special requirements of least developed countries and small island States; and to raise awareness among urban policymakers about the role of science, technology and engineering for innovation, and of information and communications technologies in facilitating integrated regional planning.

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for
Development on its sixteenth session and provisional agenda and documentation for the seventeenth session of the Commission (E/2013/31), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its sixteenth session; and approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the seventeenth session of the Commission.

Action on Texts under the Agenda Item 7 on Coordination, Programme and Other Questions

Action on Decision on HIV/AIDS

In a decision on the Joint United Nations Programme on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (E/2013/L.32), the Council takes note of the report of the Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; urges the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to continue to support the full and effective implementation of the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS;  also urges the Joint Programme to continue to support Governments in strengthening their national responses to the epidemic in accordance with their specific epidemiological situation, national contexts and priorities; recognizes the value of the lessons learned from the global HIV and AIDS response for the post-2015 development agenda and that the Joint Programme offers the United Nations a useful example to be considered, as appropriate, as a way to enhance strategic coherence, coordination, results-based focus and country-level impact, based on national contexts and priorities; and requests the Secretary-General to transmit to the Economic and Social Council, at its substantive session of 2015, a report on progress made in implementing a coordinated response by the United Nations system to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

India, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, said as the current Chair of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, they had the honour to introduce a draft resolution on HIV AIDS (E/2013/L.32), which it co-sponsored with a number of countries.  The draft text was the result of extensive and in-depth negotiations with a large number of delegations.  The resolution welcomed the progress made in preventing new HIV infections, including among children and in keeping mothers alive.  Despite progress made, critical challenges remained and new infections continued to rise in some countries.  The resolution acknowledged the urgent need to close the AIDS resource gap and for countries to scale up domestic funding for their response, while appealing to international donors to share responsibility and global solidarity in the HIV AIDS response.  This important draft resolution emphasized that the HIV AIDS response must be a part of the post 2015 development agenda. 

The resolution was adopted. 

Action on Decision on United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases

In a decision on the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (E/2013/L.23), the Council requests the Secretary-General to establish the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, which will be convened and led by the World Health Organization, report to the Economic and Social Council through the Secretary-General and incorporate the work of the United Nations Ad Hoc Interagency Task Force on Tobacco Control; decides that the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases will coordinate the activities of the relevant United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies and other intergovernmental organizations to support the realization of the commitments made by Heads of State and Government in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases; and requests the Secretary-General to develop the terms of reference for the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases, and also requests the Secretary-General to include the terms of reference in his report on the implementation of the present resolution for the consideration of the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 2014.
Russia, introducing on behalf of the sponsors the draft resolution on the United Nations Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (E/2013/L.23), said that several rounds of informal consultations had taken place and the agreed draft resolution talked about the leading role taken by the World Health Organization in the prevention of non-communicable diseases and the need for coordination.  The resolution pointed out the link between these diseases and risk factors, stressed the need for cooperation, and its operative part requested the establishment of a United Nations task force on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.  Its main role would be to coordinate the organizations of the United Nations system in the implementation of the General Assembly declaration on non-communicable diseases. 

India noted with satisfaction that the draft resolution (E/2013/L.23) sought to create a new intelligence task force on non-communicable diseases and drew upon General Assembly and World Health Assembly resolutions on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.  India was happy to note that the new intelligence task force would be created by expanding the mandate of the existing UN ad hoc bodies.  India noted that the existing body had achieved considerable success, which was important in view of the Secretary-General’s report that found that non-communicable diseases continued to kill millions of people per year, mostly in developing countries.

The resolution (E/2013/L.23) was adopted. 

Action on Decision on the Calendar of Conferences and Meetings in the Economic, Social and Related Fields

In a decision on the calendar of conferences and meetings in the economic, social and related fields (E/2013/L.13), the Council decides to approve the provisional calendar of conferences and meetings in the economic, social and related fields for 2014 and 2015; and also decides to consider at a later date the necessity of reviewing its provisional biennial calendar of conferences and meetings in the economic, social and related fields, in the light of the ongoing intergovernmental consultations on the further strengthening of the Economic and Social Council.

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, invited the Council to take action on the draft decision on the calendar of conferences and meetings in the economic, social and related fields (E/2013/L.13).

The Economic and Social Council also adopted the reports of its Coordination Bodies:
the report of the Committee for Programme and Coordination at its Fifty-third session (3-28 June 2013) (A/68/16); the annual overview report of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination for 2012 (E/2013/60); and the Proposed programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015 (A/68/6).


For use of the information media; not an official record

ECOSOC13/031E


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