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

ECOSOC GRANTS CONSULTATIVE STATUS TO 320 NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Opens General Segment and Holds Panel on the Road to Development in the Post-2015 Era and Addressing Emerging Global Challenges
18 July 2013

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this morning adopted nine decisions recommended to it by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in which it decided to grant consultative status to 320 non-governmental organizations; to suspend for one year the consultative status of 154 NGOs; to withdrew consultative status from 159 NGOs; to reinstate consultative status to 43 NGOs; and to close the consideration of the request for consultative status of 60 NGOs.

Pakistan, Venezuela, Chile on behalf of a group of countries, Brazil, Russia, and the European Union took the floor to comment on the adopted decisions.

At the beginning of the meeting, ECOSOC opened the General Segment of its 2013 substantive session and held a panel discussion with experts of the Committee for Development Policy on the theme “The road to development in the post-2015 era: Addressing emerging global challenges”. 

Martin Sajdik, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that the Committee for Development Policy had provided a valuable insight into the Council’s discussions and that they would continue to count on its contributions in the years ahead.  In its annual report the Committee recommended that the Council should focus its debate on the three basic objectives of international cooperation: managing the growing interdependence of countries, promoting social and environmental standards, and reducing remaining inequalities among countries, particularly between advanced and least developed countries.

Jose Antonio Ocampo, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs and Director, Economic and Political Development Concentration, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, said that the Millennium Development Goals were a significant advance in the history of the United Nations in terms of effectiveness and monitoring.  The post-2015 agenda must be universal but at the same time adaptable to regional and country specificities, and must take into account national targets.  The issue of growing inequalities in the world was a major concern, including not only inequality between countries but, especially, inequality within countries. 

Stephan Klasen, Member of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Economics (Senior Chair) and Head of the Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research, University of Göttingen, Germany, highlighted the positive aspects of the High-Level Panel report and said that the question now was how to move forward.  There were problems in global governance in critical areas, such as trade and climate change, and there was no system of economic governance and cooperation.  On the way forward, they should somewhat reduce the new agenda in terms of goals and targets but also expand it to work on global governance issues. 

During the discussion, speakers said that the post-2015 agenda should be based on the principles of respect for human rights, equality, and sustainability, both in relation to the environment and the human species.  Some speakers pointed out that the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the Rio+20 agenda should be analyzed separately and lessons learnt should be taken into account for the formulation of the post-2015 agenda.  Delegations raised issues concerning the growing inequality in terms of economic development between and within countries, and the transfer of technology and resources to middle-income and poorer countries.

Participating in the interactive dialogue were Nepal, Russia, Mexico, Honduras, Germany, United States, Egypt, Venezuela, South Africa, Brazil, Benin, and Ethiopia.  International Telecommunications Union also took the floor.

The Economic and Social Council will resume its work this afternoon at 3 p.m., when it will discuss the implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits and the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 50/227, 52/12 B, 57/270 B and 60/265, and hear the presentation of the report of the Committee on World Food Security followed by an interactive discussion with the Chairman of the Committee.
  
Action on Decisions Contained in the Reports of the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations

The Council has before it the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental
Organizations on its 2013 regular session (New York, 21-30 January and 8 February 2013) (E/2013/32 (Part I)), which contains three draft decisions on matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council.

In a decision on applications for consultative status and requests for reclassification received from non-governmental organizations (E/2013/32 (Part I)), the Council grants consultative status to 159 non-governmental organizations; notes the withdrawal of the application by one non-governmental organization; reclassifies the consultative status of three non-governmental organizations; notes that the Committee decided to take note of the change of name of four non-governmental organizations; notes that the Committee took note of the quadrennial reports of 277 non-governmental organizations, including new and deferred reports; closes without prejudice consideration of the request for consultative status made by 15 non-governmental organizations after the organizations had failed, after three reminders over the course of two consecutive sessions of the Committee, to respond to queries posed to them by members of the Committee.

In a decision on request for withdrawal of consultative status (E/2013/32 (Part I)), the Council takes note of the withdrawal of consultative status requested by Rural Women Empowerment and Life Improvement Association.

In a decision on the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 regular session (E/2013/32 (Part I)), the Council takes note of the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 regular session (New York, 21-30 January and 8 February 2013).

The Council has before it the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 resumed session (New York, 20-29 May and 7 June 2013) (E/2013/32 (Part II)), which contains five draft decisions on matters calling for action by the Economic and Social Council; and a corrigendum to the report of the Committee on its 2013 resumed session (E/2013/32 (Part II)/Corr.1).

In a decision on applications for consultative status, requests for reclassification and quadrennial reports received from non-governmental organizations (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus, the Council grants special consultative status to 161 non-governmental organizations; reclassifies the consultative status of one non-governmental organization from special to general consultative status; notes that the Committee had decided to take note of the change of name of one non-governmental organization; notes Note that the Committee had taken note of the quadrennial reports of 112 non-governmental organizations, including new and deferred reports; closes without prejudice consideration of the request for consultative status made by 45 non-governmental organizations after the organizations had failed to respond to queries over the course of two consecutive sessions; and notes the withdrawal of the application of one non-governmental organization.

In a decision on the suspension of consultative status of non-governmental organizations with outstanding quadrennial reports, pursuant to Council resolution 2008/4 (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus, the Council suspends, for a period of one year, the consultative status of 154 non-governmental organizations with outstanding quadrennial reports.

In a decision on the reinstatement of consultative status of non-governmental
organizations that submitted outstanding quadrennial reports, pursuant to Council resolution 2008/4 (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus the Council reinstates the consultative status of 43 non-governmental organizations that had submitted their outstanding quadrennial reports.

SECRETARY, in a point of clarification regarding the corrigendum, clarified that draft decisions III and IV were adopted in the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.  With regards to corrections on decision III, the Worldwide Network Nigeria Women in Development and Environment was by mistake omitted from the list.  This organization was being reinstated in the decision. 

In a decision on the withdrawal of consultative status of non-governmental organizations in accordance with Council resolution 2008/4 (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus, the Council withdraws the consultative status of 159 non-governmental organizations with continued outstanding quadrennial reports.

SECRETARY, regarding the corrigendum that was made to the decision, said that the decision was correctly adopted in the Committee.  The organization Worldwide Network Nigeria Women in Development and Environment was mistakenly included.  It had been deleted from this list. 

In a decision on the dates of and provisional agenda for the 2014 session of the
Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus, the Council approves the provisional agenda for the 2014 session of the Committee.

In a decision on the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on
its 2013 resumed session (E/2013/32 (Part II)), adopted by consensus, the Council takes note of the report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its 2013 resumed session (New York, 20-29 May and 7 June 2013).

Pakistan said this year not only had the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations had the highest number of non-governmental organizations but also their work had significantly improved.  Pakistan appreciated the work of the Committee and hoped that the non-governmental organizations would continue to make a valuable contribution to that.  However, Pakistan reported problems with resources and issues concerning a massive increase in the workload of the Committee, which needed to be addressed.  Interventions from non-governmental organizations should be conducted in the spirit of constructive dialogue and criticism and in full accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Chile, speaking on behalf of a group of countries, said that the role of non-governmental organizations was important as drivers of action both at national and at global level, especially when it came to defending the rights of vulnerable groups.  Chile highlighted the work of non-governmental organizations defending the work of human rights defenders.  In various fora of the United Nations the experience and expertise of the non-governmental organizations had been recognized, so the Committee should facilitate the participation of civil society in its work without prejudice or restrictions.

Venezuela acknowledged that the report of the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations was adopted by consensus.  Venezuela reiterated its position that there was a need to abide by procedural rules governing this Committee.  If a State party had a question to ask, this did not mean that this would have a negative impact on the work of the Committee. 

Brazil said that it was struck by the fact that the applications of four non-governmental organizations from Brazil had been postponed and trusted that this was due to procedural mistakes or due to any minor issues considering that they were all well-established and fully engaged in United Nations work.  It would be appreciated if the Committee could send pending questions that were posed and not answered in appropriate time to the Brazilian Mission in Geneva or New York and see what maybe happened.

Russia echoed concerns about the focus of resources of the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations.  Some 5,000 pages of application texts had been created.  There had to be a lot of skills employed for all the material to be processed.  A lot of time was being spent on these applications. 

European Union said that the involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations was essential for well informed debates of the United Nations in general, including the Economic and Social Council.  The contribution of non-governmental organizations towards creating open and democratic societies was of great importance.  The European Union welcomed the historic decision of the Committee to recommend special consultative status to two organizations promoting the rights of persons based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.  However, despite improvements, it was regrettable that the Committee had not taken into account the full diversity of non-governmental organizations. 

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, reminded delegations that this afternoon the Council would begin its joint consideration of Agenda Item 6 on implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conference and summits, and Agenda Item 8 on the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 50/227, 52/12 B, 57/270 B and 60/265.  Under the former, the Council will hear the presentation of the report of the Committee on World Food Security, and under the latter, it will hear a briefing by the co-facilitators of the process for the further review of the implementation of the above mentioned General Assembly resolutions.

Panel Discussion with Members of the Committee for Development Policy on the Theme of the Road to Development in the Post-2015 Era: Addressing Emerging Global Challenges

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that those draft resolutions or decisions adopted by consensus by a subsidiary body would also be adopted by consensus by the Council.  Those voted upon in a subsidiary body would also be voted upon in the Council.  This morning there would first be a panel discussion with members of the Committee for Development Policy on the theme ‘the road to development in the post-2015 era: addressing emerging global challenges.’  The Council would then take action on the recommendations contained in the reports of the Committee on Non-governmental Organizations at its regular sessions and resumed session of 2013.  The Committee for Development Policy had provided most valuable insight to the Council’s discussions and ECOSOC would continue to count on their contributions in the years ahead.  In 2011 the Economic and Social Council decided to hold within existing resources more frequent interactions with the Committee for Development Policy and invited the Chair and other members of the Committee to meet with the Council during the General Segment, in order to exchange views on the programme of work of the Committee on the themes to be addressed by the Council at the High-level Segment of its next substantive session, and on other pertinent issues that the Committee wished to bring to the attention of the Council.

In its annual report, the Committee for Development Policy recommended that, in promoting the exchange of ideas on how the universal policies for the post-2015 era should be shaped, the Council should focus its debate on three basic objectives of international cooperation, namely managing the growing interdependence of countries, promoting social and environmental standards already adopted by the international community, and reducing the large inequalities that remained in the levels of economic development among countries, particularly between advanced and least developed countries.  This morning the Committee’s views on emerging issues in the post-2015 development agenda would be discussed.  They would also hear about the Committee’s reflections on the new trends that were shaping the international environment and the global partnership that supported the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs and Director, Economic and Political Development Concentration, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, said that the Millennium Development Goals were a significant advance in the history of the United Nations in terms of effectiveness and monitoring, and helped advocacy and policymaking in countries and institutions.  The Millennium Development Goals had a strong social focus on international goals, which was one of its main strengths.  Their main weakness was that they did not include many of the internationally agreed development goals, particularly sustainable development, which was now central to the discussions of the post-2015 agenda.  Mr. Ocampo stressed that the post-2015 agenda must be universal but at the same time adaptable to regional and country specificities, and must take into account national targets.  Moreover, it should be based on a strong global partnership and on the three dimensions of sustainable development, the economic, the social and the environmental. 

The task force last year had presented a very comprehensive vision which was based on the principles of equality and sustainability.  The High-Level Panel recommended that sustainable development and inclusive growth be put at the centre of the new agenda, which was a good way to guide the discussion.  The issue of growing inequalities in the world was a major concern, including not only inequality between countries but, especially, inequality within countries.  Therefore, there should be a specific target in the post-2015 agenda for the reduction of national inequalities, and the target should include quantifiable objectives.  The objectives which should be highlighted in any global partnership for development included the promotion of social and environmental standards adopted by the United Nations, and the reduction of the large remaining inequalities among countries at the level of economic development.   

STEPHAN KLASEN, Member of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Economics (Senior Chair) and Head of the Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research, University of Göttingen, Germany, wished to highlight the important positive aspects of where they were now, including the High-Level Panel Report, which would hopefully remain in the process of firm commitment moving towards the post-2015 development agenda.  A data revolution was important and needed.  The question now was how to move forward.  In some sense, on the goals and targets, the High-Level Panel Report did a little too much.  On the whole, they now had too many goals and targets, which were not manageable.  There was also no clear prioritization.  There were some very important targets and others that were arguably less important.  Some goals were also immeasurable, such as vocational training for jobs.  Furthermore some goals were very ambitious to the point of being unrealistic, such as eliminating poverty and hunger.  The High-Level Panel Report on the other hand did too little, such as how to implement a post-2015 development agenda.  That was not to say that it should prescribe a model, but there was too little on the global governance aspect of reaching the Millennium Development Goals which the Committee for Development Policy was now focusing on much more. 

There were problems in global governance in critical areas such as trade and climate change, and there was no system of economic governance and cooperation.  The United Nations system remained fragmented, and there was a global leadership vacuum.  There was also no clear process of providing key public goods, such as financial stability, technology and knowledge, and an international migration regime.  They really needed a much better functioning system of global governance.  The Committee for Development Policy had a particular focus on least developed countries, and they had to make sure that they remained an important focus on the post-2015 agenda.  On the way forward, on one hand they should somewhat reduce the agenda in terms of goals and targets.  That would be hard and indeed controversial.  They also had to expand the agenda to work on global governance issues. 

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that the cooperation between the Bureau of the Economic and Social Council and the Committee for Development Policy had been very good and had resulted in a useful exchange of views.  Mr. Sajdik said he hoped that this cooperation would continue to feed into the work of the Council in the future. 
Nepal said that it agreed that the Millennium Development Goals lacked balance and asked how they were going to maintain the progress they had made in social development.  Which were the areas which needed specific intervention at the global level in order to reduce inequality?  How could the system become more equitable and balanced at the international level?

Russia said that it agreed about the need for equitable and inclusive progress, and that inequalities among and within countries should be eliminated.  Sustainable development and the eradication of poverty should be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda.  Measures should be taken to improve capacities in energy, transport, health and education.  They needed to make efforts to improve global economic management.   

Mexico was interested in the analysis of the report of the High-Level Panel.  It shared the idea of the need for a focus on inequalities.  It hoped there would be more discussion on international migration, very closely linked to inequality as a social issue.  On the level of ambition that they should aim at, the overarching goal should be poverty eradication.  What guidance could the panellists give to achieve an ambitious and realistic agenda that could be appropriately measured?

Honduras asked whether the United Nations had moved the issue of human development forward.  What was the general perspective on development that they had or should have?  On global governance, this was the Achilles heel of the system as a whole.  They might set the greatest objectives of all times, but there may be confusion between means and ends.  Economic governance tended to be focused on what was wanted by developed countries and only their voices were heard.

Germany asked whether more could be said on the mentioned need for a data revolution.  Germany thought they needed to go beyond conventional indicators in measuring income and well-being.  Regarding working methods, did they need new working methods to look at all three aspects of development in an integrated way?

United States said that it supported many of the key themes of the High-level Panel, including finishing the work on the Millennium Development Goals, keeping the elimination of poverty in the centre of the discussion but with a social and economic development dimension, emphasizing health equality and nutrition issues, recognizing that peace and security were critical to development, and promoting accountability.   

Egypt asked whether the lack of political will or the lack of clear indicators were to blame for the failure to implement fully the Millennium Development Goals.  Technology and finance were very important to implementation, so there should be adequate domestic resources to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  Egypt wondered whether they should have specific targets for technology and finance transfer at the global level.

Venezuela said that it was necessary to carry out a holistic analysis of the Millennium Development Goals and learn where they went wrong.  Then they should analyze the implementation of the Rio+20 goals.  The process should happen step by step, not simultaneously.  Only then should they move on to the post-2015 agenda, which should be based on human rights, equality and sustainability, including the preservation of the environment. 

International Telecommunications Union said that when the Millennium Development Goals were established, the international community was only beginning to understand the catalytic potential of information communication technologies.  One of the targets, under goal 8, called for making the benefit of technologies available for all.  It seems this goal would be achieved by 2015 in terms of mobile services.  The United Nations Group on the Information Societies had drawn on the importance of information communication technologies as enablers of development.

South Africa said that it was important in trying to find new solutions such as using domestic resource mobilization, to not come up with new conditionalities and to find balances.  There had been a call for technology transfers for years but more work had to be done.  How could they not fall into the trap of setting up new conditionalities?  Were there views on how they could continue to press ahead and promote the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in the remaining time ahead? 

Brazil said it was very important to remind everyone that the only agenda that had been Member-driven that resulted in a negotiated outcome document was Rio+ 20.  Brazil thought that the outcome report of the High-Level Panel captured the complexity and variety of discussions.  The eradication of poverty was an overarching goal and about to be approved as such by the General Assembly.  In Brazil’s opinion, the eradication of extreme poverty was not an ambitious call at all, but in fact modest.  Could more be said regarding remarks on a green economy?

Benin asked Mr. Klasen whether his comment that the complete eradication of poverty was perhaps too ambitious a goal meant that people living in poverty were condemned to poverty forever.  Concerning least developed countries, Benin said that those should remain at the centre of the international agenda, so their next programme should be drawn up taking into account the number and geographical location of the 49 least developed countries, 34 of whom were in Africa. 

Ethiopia said that it agreed with Mr. Klasen’s comment that they needed to focus on the least developed countries, particularly in terms of promoting a green economy, enhancing their product capacity and advancing their development, all of which should be at the heart of the post-2015 agenda.  How could a global partnership help in that regard?  Despite Mr. Klasen’s comment about poverty, poverty eradication was not unachievable.

STEPHAN KLASEN, Member of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Economics (Senior Chair) and Head of the Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research, University of Göttingen, Germany, said that, regarding the level of ambition of some of the goals, poverty eradication was of course highly desirable; it was also achievable and a legitimate goal to set.  However, he pointed out that there was no example in history of a country which had completely eradicated poverty in a period of 15 years, so that was totally unprecedented and perhaps they were setting countries up for failure.  The post-2015 agenda should function as a comprehensive development strategy which would deliver a set of outcomes.  Concerning the comment from Germany, Mr. Klasen said that indicators were important but in many cases they did not have comparable data across the world, for example in the field of employment.

JOSE ANTONIO OCAMPO, Chair of the Committee for Development Policy, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, and Director for Economic and Political Development Concentration, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, United States, said that there were of course different processes currently on-going, which were separate but nonetheless had to be seen as complementary and dovetailing processes.  As the High-Level Panel Report said, what was done in the area of sustainable development and a post-2015 development agenda had to have as a starting point the Millennium Development Goals and what had not been accomplished.  It would be suicide for the United Nations to have two development agendas.  Mr. Ocampo reiterated the need for a focus on inequalities.  The focus also needed to be on income.  Poverty could be reduced by increasing work, fare wages and the like.  There had to be comprehensive measures to tackle both inequality and poverty.  On sustainable and human development, Mr. Ocampo saw consensus on the concept of sustainable development that could be seen as a way of focusing on human development as well.  The issue of economic development was not sufficiently expanded upon nor did it have its proper place on the High-Level Panel or in the Millennium Development Goals.  On environmental development, more attention had to be paid to a green economy.   A United Nations Environment Programme report said that sustainable production and consumption were tied into the way the economy wished to deliver on sustainable development goals.

MARTIN SAJDIK, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that the discussion had shown that the Committee for Development Policy was truly a think tank for the Economic and Social Council, and was needed by the Council. 


For use of the information media; not an official record

ECOSOC13/027E


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