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ECOSOC ADOPTS TEXTS ON ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS AND ON WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING PALESTINIAN WOMEN
Hears Briefing on Preparatory Process for the Comprehensive 10-year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action
24 July 2013

The Economic and Social Council this afternoon adopted three texts on women and development and 13 texts on economic and environmental questions.  Concerning the situation of women, the Council adopted texts on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women, and on the report of the Commission.  Regarding economic and environmental questions, the Council adopted texts on sustainable development, statistics, human settlements, the environment, population and development, public administration and development, international cooperation in tax matters, the United Nations Forum on Forests, cartography, and the transport of dangerous goods.

Under its agenda item on women and development, the Council adopted a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women by a roll-call vote of 23 votes in favour, 2 votes against, and 16 abstentions, in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to assist Palestinian women by all available means.  The Council also adopted a resolution on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women and a decision on the report of the Commission.

Palestine and Israel spoke in an explanation of the vote after the vote.

The Council adopted 13 texts under its agenda item on economic and environmental questions, including on sustainable development, statistics, human settlements, the environment, population and development, public administration and development, international cooperation in tax matters, the United Nations Forum on Forests, cartography, and the transport of dangerous goods.

The Council took note of the reports of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme at its first universal session (18-22 February 2013), of the report of the Nineteenth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, 29 October-1 November 2012, and of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

At the beginning of the meeting, ECOSOC heard the presentation of a number of reports and then held a general discussion on economic and environmental questions.

Yamina Djacta, Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN Habitat New York Office, presenting the report of the Secretary-General on the Coordinated Implementation of the Habitat Agenda, said that currently more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, a figure projected to be 70 per cent by 2050.  Challenges included unemployment, life-threatening conditions in slums, rapid expansion of towns and cities in the absence of adequate urban planning and increasing levels of vulnerability of the urban poor to increasingly frequent natural and human-made disasters. 
Jan Dusik, Acting Director and Regional Representative of United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Europe, introducing the report of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme, said that the first session had been highly successful.  The need to increase financial resources to implement the Rio+20 outcome and relevant General Assembly resolutions was needed, strengthening the United Nations Environment Programme’s presence at multiple levels, and the multiple dimensions of sustainable development.

Olivier Kervella, Chief of the Dangerous Goods and Special Cargoes Section of the Economic Commission for Europe, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.  The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals was a relatively new system set up in 2000, and was first adopted by New Zealand and Mauritius.  When the European Union adopted it in 2008 it became more of a catalyst for change, and today almost every country in the world had adopted it.

During the discussion on economic and environmental questions, speakers expressed appreciation for the Council’s consideration of the needs of least developed countries and thanked donors and partners for support.  Delegations expressed support for efforts made towards the implementation of the sustainable development goals, post-2015 development agenda and the outcome of the Rio+20 conference, and they recognised the role played by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Economic and Social Council in this context.  Speakers also highlighted the need to promote integrated and coordinated rural and urban development and of incorporating the three aspects of sustainable development.

Tuvalu, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, Kenya and Brazil took the floor.  Representatives of China Energy Fund Committee, Biovision Foundation, and the International Federation of Associations of Social, Ecological and Culture Aid also participated in the general discussion.

The Council also heard a briefing on the preparatory process for the comprehensive 10-year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action by Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and United Nations High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.  Mr. Acharya said that in view of the mixed results, the challenges before many landlocked developing countries was to secure sustained economic growth that delivered decent jobs, economic diversification and structural transformation needed to make significant strides in poverty reduction and broad based sustainable development.  Limited export diversification, lack of value addition, and limited productive capacities, including human resource development, continued to impede their economic prosperity.

The Council will resume its work on Thursday, 25 July, at 10 a.m., when it will take up its agenda item on social and human rights questions, hold a general discussion and take action on texts. 
         
Action on Resolution and Decision on Report of the Commission on the Status of Women

In a decision on the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its fifty-seventh session and provisional agenda and documentation for the fifty-eighth session of the Commission (E/2013/27), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its fifty-seventh session16 and approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the fifty-eighth session of the Commission set out in the report.

In a resolution on the future organization and methods of work of the Commission on the Status of Women (E/2013/27), the Council decides that at its fifty-eighth session, in 2014, the Commission on the Status of Women should review the functioning of its methods of work, adopted by the Council in its resolution 2006/9 and confirmed in its resolution 2009/15, with a view to further enhancing the impact of the work of the Commission; requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its fifty-eighth session a report on ways and means to further enhance the impact of the work of the Commission; decides that at its fifty-ninth session, in 2015, the Commission will undertake a review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, including current challenges that affect the implementation of  the Platform for Action and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as opportunities for strengthening gender equality.

Action on Resolution on the Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women

In a resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (E/2013/27), adopted by 23 votes in favour, 2 votes against (United States and Canada), and 16 abstentions, the Council, requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century”; requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation, to assist Palestinian women by all available means, including those laid out in his report, and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its fifty-eighth session a report, including information provided by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

Speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, Palestine said the situation of Palestinian women was unfortunately not a case for celebration.  The overarching reason for their tragic situation was Israel’s brutal military occupation of the State of Palestine, and its continued violation of the rights of the Palestinian people on a daily basis.  By the sole virtue of their gender, women bore the brunt of the violations caused by the Israeli occupation.  Only an end to the occupation and the fulfilment of the long-overdue self determination of the Palestinian people would bring true equality for Palestinian women.  Palestine urged the international community to put an end to Israeli impunity and the misery of the Palestinian people, in particular Palestinian women.

Speaking in an explanation of the vote after the vote, Israel said it was strongly opposed to the resolution, which was one-sided, biased and unhelpful.  By giving special attention to only Palestinian women the Council sent a message that women in other countries were less important.  Palestinian women faced immense challenges.  Their suffering was prolonged by the resistance of some States to discuss inconvenient truths and the so-called “blame it on Israel policy” used to distract the international community from their own responsibilities.  It was not Israel’s fault that Palestinian law gave priority to Sharia law under which women were not considered equal to men, that there were less than three women’s shelters in the West Bank and none in Gaza, and that the right to equality between men and women had not been enshrined in law.  Israel was not perfect.  No country was.  Yet in a region where the suppression of women was the rule rather than the exception, Israel stood alone in its efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment of women.  In fact, the only place in the Middle East where Arab women enjoyed equal rights to men was Israel.  The resolution completely ignored the real causes of the suffering of Palestinian women. 

Briefing by the UN High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States

GYAN CHANDRA ACHARYA, Under-Secretary-General and United Nations High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, presenting an update on the preparatory process for the comprehensive 10-year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action, recalled that resolution 66/214 decided to hold a 10-year review conference on the Almaty Programme of Action, which offered opportunities for the landlocked developing countries and partners to evaluate success and outline a new strategic framework for the next decade.  In order to make the entire preparatory process inclusive, Governments, inter-agency partners and private sector/business community and academia would be involved in order to build a sense of full ownership of the conference outcome by all stakeholders.  The overarching goal of the Almaty Programme of Action was to foster the establishment of efficient transport systems in all landlocked developing countries, to improve connectivity and the quality of infrastructure, to ensure smooth, efficient and safe transit system and to strengthen trade facilitation.  Some progress had been made in removing physical and non-physical barriers and economic growth had been experienced, but the slowdown in the global economy continued to have a negative impact. 

In view of the mixed results, the challenge before many landlocked developing countries was to secure sustained economic growth that delivered decent jobs, economic diversification and structural transformation needed to make significant strides in poverty reduction and broad-based sustainable development.  Limited export diversification, lack of value addition, and limited productive capacities, including human resource development, continued to impede their economic prosperity.  As per the resolution 66/214, preparations for the conference were well underway and as outlined in the roadmap the preparatory process for the Conference had being undertaken along three main tracks: intergovernmental, United Nations inter-agency, and private sector tracks.  Mr. Acharya looked forward to the Council’s continued support for the successful preparation and organization of the 10-year Review Conference.  This provided an opportunity to lend full support to these geographically disadvantaged countries to enable them to adequately harness the benefits of trade and competitiveness for their sustainable and inclusive development.  As the process of formulation of the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals were currently underway, it was important that the development priorities of these countries were also taken into account.

Documentation

The Council had before it the report of the Committee for Development Policy at its fifteenth session (18-22 March 2013) (E/2013/33).

The Council has before it the report of the Statistical Commission at its forty-fourth session (26 February-1 March 2013) (E/2013/24).

The Council has before it the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme at its twenty-fourth session (15-19 April 2013) (A/68/8).

The Council has before it the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda (E/2013/68), which highlights key resolutions adopted by the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) at its twenty-fourth session; and describes the activities undertaken by UN-Habitat in cooperation with other agencies and organizations in the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda at the global, regional and national levels.

The Council has before it the report of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme at its first universal session (18-22 February 2013) (A/68/25).

The Council has before it the report of the Commission on Population and Development at its forty-sixth session (27 April 2012 and 22-26 April 2013) (E/2013/25).

The Council has before it the report of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration at its twelfth session (15-19 April 2013) (E/2013/44).

The Council has before it the report of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters at its eighth session (15-19 October 2012) (E/2012/45).

The Council has before it the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on further progress in strengthening the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (E/2013/67), which examines further progress achieved in strengthening the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters and its cooperation with concerned multilateral bodies and relevant regional and subregional organizations. It highlights the major recent outputs of the Committee; and provides an update on the United Nations capacity development programme in international tax cooperation and reviews current developments and prospects regarding the
deficiencies and gaps in international tax cooperation.

The Council has before it the report of the United Nations Forum on Forests at its tenth session (4 February 2011 and 8 to 19 April 2013) (E/2013/42).

The Council has before it the report of the Nineteenth United Nations
Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, 29 October-1 November 2012 (E/CONF.102/8).

The Council has before it the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
(E/2013/51), which concerns the work of the Committee of Experts during the biennium 2011-2012 and the implementation of Economic and Social Council resolution 2011/25.

Presentation of Reports on Economic and Environmental Questions

YAMINA DJACTA, Director of United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN Habitat New York Office, presented the report of the Secretary General on the Coordinated Implementation of the Habitat Agenda.  Currently more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lived in urban areas, a figure projected to be 70 per cent by 2050.  The fastest rates of urbanization were in the developing world, with inadequate infrastructure and authorities that were often unable to meet the needs of populations, especially the young and the poor.  Challenges included unemployment, life-threatening conditions in slums, rapid expansion of towns and cities in the absence of adequate urban planning, and increasing levels of vulnerability of the urban poor to increasingly frequent natural and human-made disasters.  Ms. Djacta highlighted some of the 15 resolutions adopted at the twenty-fourth session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in April 2013 and priorities of the new Strategic Plan 2014 – 2019.  She said the Secretary General’s report concluded with five recommendations for further action, in line with the post Rio+20 sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda, and encouraged Member States to use them to promote sustainable urbanization and the role of local authorities in sustainable national development through environmentally sustainable, socially inclusive and economically productive cities. 

JAN DUSIK, Acting Director and Regional Representative of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for Europe, introducing the report of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environmental Forum of the United Nations Environmental Programme, said that the first universal session had been highly successful and a number of States had participated alongside with United Nations bodies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.  The need to increase financial resources to implement the Rio+20 outcome and relevant General Assembly resolutions was needed, strengthening the United Nations Environment Programme’s presence at multiple levels, and the multiple dimensions of sustainable development.  The session had adopted 14 decisions on a number of issues.  With the decisions of the first session and the resolution of the General Assembly, the position of the United Nations Environment Programme to follow up on the Rio+20 outcome document and the pillars of sustainable development had been strengthened.

The Vice-Chairperson of ECOSOC noted that the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on further progress in strengthening the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (E/2013/67) had been introduced at the special meeting on international cooperation in tax matters that the Council held in New York on 29 May.

OLIVIER KERVELLA, Chief of the Dangerous Goods and Special Cargoes Section of the Economic Commission for Europe, introduced the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.  The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals was a relatively new system set up in 2000, and was first adopted by New Zealand and Mauritius.  When the European Union adopted it in 2008 it became more of a catalyst for change, and today almost every country in the world had adopted it.  The Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods usually only met twice a year, each time adopting amendments and recommendations. 

General Discussion

Tuvalu said it was recovering from the global economic crisis but as a least developed country and island State its recovery was slower than that of other countries.  Given its geographical position, Tuvalu might become one of the first endangered States because of climate change.  Tuvalu thanked donors and development partners for supporting its development progress; it would work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and continue forward on the basis of the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals.  Tuvalu highlighted the importance of support for small island States and thanked the Council for its understanding and special consideration of its situation.

Russia said it supported the policies of the Rio+20 conference, which had in a balanced fashion come up with commitments on issues which were central on the basis of the effective and coordinated realisation of agreements in the context of the United Nations.  Russia supported a scientific and non-politicised approach to efforts towards a green economy and the achievement of sustainable development, and noted the important role played by the United Nations Environment Programme on the protection of the environment.  In the future, the ideas of sustainable development would have to be applied in practice on the basis of the Framework Convention on Production and Consumption. 

Belarus said the realization of the decisions of Rio+20 were crucial for progress on ensuring sustainable development.  It was good that ECOSOC was working on the post 2015 agenda and it was key that middle income countries were truly represented in drafting the sustainable development objectives.  ECOSOC must lead and coordinate those efforts.  Belarus attached great importance to matters regarding populations and hoped that topic would continue to be actively tackled both in ECOSOC and in other United Nations bodies.

Bolivia said it was undergoing a process of deep transformations, politically, economically, environmentally, socially and culturally, enshrined in the constitution as the ‘living well in harmony and in balance with Mother Earth’ philosophy which stemmed from the culture of Bolivia’s indigenous communities, an approach which broke free of the neo-liberal capitalist model which had dominated so far.  One could not fully realize human rights without establishing a harmonious relationship with Mother Earth.  Non market-based mechanisms needed to be strengthened, starting with sustainable management of forests. 

China said it took the protection of the environment as a fundamental policy and made efforts to promote and facilitate the process for sustainable development.  China took an open and pragmatic approach in facilitating the implementation of the sustainable development goals.  Cities were the result of the development of human civilization and their sustainable development was important for the development of States.  Developed countries needed to take stock of their own experience and provide support to developing countries.  China was facing a stage of rapid urbanisation, which had brought daunting challenges to the country, and a number of measures were taken to promote integrated and coordinated rural and urban development. 

Cuba strongly supported the ideas expressed by Tuvalu in its intervention.  Cuba had supported the decision with regards to the graduation of least developed countries and was grateful that draft resolution L.19 included a reference in this regard.  Cuba took note of the report of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, and stressed the need that the programmatic proposals of the Secretariat matched the mandates stemming from the General Assembly, which would make it easier for States to find agreement.

Venezuela said that Rio+20 gave a strong lease of life to the work of UN Habitat in its drive to provide adequate housing for everyone.  Currently 33 per cent of the urban population of developing countries lived in marginal neighbourhoods.  Wanton urban growth was occurring in the countries least able to cope.  Venezuela had a forest vision based on social inclusion as a means of sustainable management of forests and eradication of poverty.  Venezuela was saddened to see sanctions applied by the United Nations Security Council in cases that did not threaten international security.

Turkey said it had been honoured to host the tenth meeting of the United Nations Forum on Forests in Istanbul in April 2013, which was the first time it had been hosted outside of the United Nations headquarters.  Turkey was committed to achieving sustainable management of forests.  Turkey was pleased that the Forum had agreed to the establishment of a voluntary Global Forest Fund.

Kenya welcomed the reports on cities and sustainable development.  Kenya, as other developing countries, experienced challenges in achieving sustainable development, in the light of the outcomes of Rio+20.  In the same spirit, Kenya would play its rightful role to ensure the achievement of sustainable development for all.  Kenya appreciated the work of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, including the work on slum-upgrading in Kenya.  Kenya’s new constitution had adopted a devolved system of governance to address urban migration.  Kenya also appreciated the ideas to upgrade the United Nations Environment Programme in its entirety and would like to see the progressive consolidation of its headquarters.

Brazil said that the Council must play its role, that was to say, incorporating the three aspects of sustainable development, and Brazil considered that fair weight should be given to the different aspects and should be seen in the context of common but differentiated responsibility.  This work would be achieved in closed conjunction with the high-level policy forum and Brazil underlined that debates at the substantive session had pointed to the importance of peace and security for development.  In this context, Brazil underscored its position that development was a prerequisite for peace and security.  With regards to statistical data, Brazil expressed its gratitude to the Council for its election to the Statistical Commission. 

China Energy Fund Committee said it was totally unacceptable that in today’s world the lives of 1.6 billion persons, or 22.5 per cent of all humankind, were permanently blighted by energy poverty, most of whom lived in desperately poor countries or in isolated pockets.  China Energy Fund Committee presented a paper entitled “Energy for the poor, the Chinese experience” about a pragmatic solution adopted by the Chinese Government to leverage the rich resources to produce biogas.  By using 500 million tons of agricultural waste, livestock and poultry droppings, biogas was created to provide rural households with renewable energy sources for cooking, lighting and heating. 

Biovision Foundation said that hunger and malnutrition were not just a question of food supply.  Hunger was about access to food and to productive resources.  Smallholders and their access to markets must be at the centre of all efforts to end hunger.  Activities to achieve food security through sustainable agricultural systems, especially of smallholder farms, must be supported.  The post-2015 agenda must include a binding target for sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition. 

International Federation of Associations of Social, Ecological and Culture Aid, said that contributions from all sectors of global society were needed for the future of sustainable development.  The main obstacle constituted the resistance to change of economic powers interested in maintaining an economy for their own benefit.  The world should move towards a global economy focused on the welfare of all human beings, including, the fulfilment of basic human needs, livelihoods, education, health, progress and the environment.  The Federation urged States to protect eco-aquatic systems and reduce water pollution, restoring and protecting ecosystems, and changing the way of producing to satisfy the legitimate needs of all human beings.

Action on Resolution and Decision on the Commission on Sustainable Development   

In a decision on the revised provisional agenda for the twentieth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (E/2013/L.37), the Council approves the revised provisional agenda for the twentieth session as set out in the decision.

In a resolution on the conclusion of the work of the Commission on Sustainable
Development (E/2013/L.38), the Council requests the Commission on Sustainable Development to conclude its work at its twentieth session on 20 September 2013, which should be short and procedural, and to transmit its final report to the Council on that day; and decides to abolish the Commission on Sustainable Development with effect from the conclusion of its twentieth session, on 20 September 2013.

Action on Resolution on Committee for Development Policy

In a resolution on the report of the Committee for Development Policy (E/2013/L.19), the Council requests the Committee, at its sixteenth session, to examine and make recommendations on the theme of the annual ministerial review chosen by the Council for the high-level segment of its substantive session of 2014; also requests the Committee to monitor the development progress of countries graduated from the category of least developed countries, in accordance with paragraph 21 of General Assembly resolution 67/221; and requests further the Committee to monitor the development progress of countries graduating from the category of least developed countries and to include its findings in its annual report to the Council.

Action on Resolution and Decision on the Statistical Commission

In a resolution on the fundamental Principles of Official Statistics (E/2013/24), the Council endorses the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, as adopted by the Statistical Commission in 1994 and reaffirmed in 2013, and recommends them further to the General Assembly for endorsement.
 
In a decision on the report of the Statistical Commission on its forty-fourth session and the provisional agenda and dates for the forty-fifth session of
the Commission (E/2013/24), the Council takes note of the report of the Statistical Commission on its forty-fourth session; and decides that the forty-fifth session of the Commission shall be held in New York from 4 to 7 March 2014.

Action on Resolution on Human Settlements

In a resolution on human settlements (E/2013/L.36), as orally corrected, the Council encourages Governments to initiate their preparations for the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III); decides to transmit to the General Assembly for consideration at its sixty-eighth session the report of the Secretary-General on the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda; and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council for consideration at its substantive session of 2014 a report on the coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda.

Ecuador reiterated its commitment to the definition of guidelines on urban planning and said towns should be incubators for innovation and creativity.  Towns had a crucial role to play to contribute to a prosperous future.  Ecuador said it would have liked a paragraph to have been added to the resolution to refer to the naming of the host city for the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development “Habitat III” in 2016.  Ecuador repeated its offer for its capital city Quito to host Habitat III.  Quito had already begun to prepare itself to host that significant conference, and Ecuador hoped it would receive support to be the host. 

Report of the Government Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme

The Council took note of the report of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme at its first universal session (18-22 February 2013) (A/68/25).


Action on Decision on Commission on Population and Development

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Population and Development
on its forty-sixth session and provisional agenda for its forty-seventh session (E/2013/25), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Population and Development on its forty-sixth session,1 and decides to transmit it to the second high-level dialogue of the General Assembly on international migration and development; and approves the provisional agenda for the forty-seventh session of the Commission.

Action on Resolution and Decision on Committee of Experts on Public Administration

In a resolution on the report of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration on its twelfth session (E/2013/L.27), the Council encourages Member States to promote effective leadership, high standards of professionalism, ethics, integrity, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector at the national and local levels, to promote public trust and accountability, to continue to support capacity-building in public governance and institution-building at all levels, and to promote the effective management of diversity and inclusion in public services and enhance equality in access to services by all.  The Council also requests the Secretariat to continue to address gaps in research, monitoring, capacity development and implementation in governance and public administration, to promote transformative government and innovation in public governance so as to achieve sustainable development by further promoting advocacy and knowledge transfer on good governance at the global, regional, national and local levels, to assist in the implementation of the Plan of Action adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society at its first phase, held in Geneva from 10 to12 December 2003, and the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, adopted by the Summit at its second phase, held in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005, on issues related to e-government, e-participation, mobile government, open government data, the use of information and communications technologies in parliaments and the Internet Governance Forum.

In a decision on venue, dates and provisional agenda for the thirteenth session
of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (E/2013/L.29), the Council decides that the thirteenth session of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration will be held at United Nations Headquarters from 7 to 11 April
2014; and approves the provisional agenda for the thirteenth session of the Committee as set in the resolution.

Action on Resolution and Decision on Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

In a resolution on the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in
Tax Matters (E/2013/L.22), the Council decides to hold, on an annual basis, a special meeting of the Council to consider international cooperation in tax matters, including, as appropriate, its contribution to mobilizing domestic financial resources for development, and the institutional arrangements to promote such cooperation; encourages the President of the Economic and Social Council to issue invitations to representatives of national tax authorities to attend the aforementioned meeting; requests the Secretary-General to continue to report to the Council on further progress achieved in strengthening the work of the Committee and its cooperation with concerned multilateral bodies and relevant regional and subregional organizations; recognizes the progress made by the Financing for Development Office in its work in developing, within its mandate, a capacity development programme in international tax cooperation aimed at strengthening the capacity of the ministries of finance and national tax authorities in developing countries to develop more effective and efficient tax systems, which support the desired levels of public and private investment, and to combat tax evasion, and requests the Office, in partnership with other stakeholders, to continue its work in this area and to further develop its activities within existing resources and mandates; stresses the need for appropriate funding for the subsidiary bodies of the Committee to enable those bodies to fulfil their mandates; and reiterates, in this regard, its appeal to Member States, relevant organizations and other potential donors to consider contributing generously to the Trust Fund for International Cooperation in Tax Matters, established by the Secretary-General in order to supplement regular budgetary resources, and invites the Secretary-General to intensify efforts to that end.

In a decision on dates and provisional agenda for the ninth session of the
Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (E/2013/L.39), the Council decides that the ninth session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters will be held in Geneva from 21 to 25 October 2013; and approves the draft agenda for the ninth session of the Committee.

Action on Decisions on UN Forum on Forests

In a decision on the report of the United Nations Forum on Forests on its tenth session and provisional agenda for its eleventh session (E/2013/42), the Council takes note of the report of the United Nations Forum on Forests on its
tenth session; and approves the provisional agenda for the eleventh session of the Forum as set out below.

In a decision on dates and venue for the eleventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (E/2013/L.35), the Council decides that the eleventh session of the United Nations Forum on Forests will be held from 4 to 15 May 2015 in New York.

Report of Nineteenth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific

The Council took note of the report of the Nineteenth United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, 29 October-1 November 2012 (E/CONF.102/8).

Report on the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

The Council took note of the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
(E/2013/51), which concerns the work of the Committee of Experts during the biennium 2011-2012 and the implementation of Economic and Social Council resolution 2011/25.

General Comments

Regarding the resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (E/2013/27), Nicaragua said it had not been able to be present during the vote, but it wanted to place on the record that had they been present they would have voted in favour of the resolution.

Regarding the resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women (E/2013/27), Tunisia said it had not been able to be present during the vote, but it wanted to place on the record that had they been present they would have voted in favour of the resolution.


For use of the information media; not an official record

ECOSOC13/036E


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