2 March 2005

ECOSOC Decides to Consider Reports on Burundi, Guinea-Bissau During 2005 Session in July

Among Other Actions, Council also Decides to Hold Special High-Level Meeting with Bretton Woods Institutions, WTO, UNCTAD on 18 April in New York

NEW YORK, 1 March (UN Headquarters) -- In an organizational meeting this afternoon, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted resolutions on the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Burundi and on Guinea-Bissau, and set dates for its special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and for the segments of its 2005 substantive session. 

Adopting draft resolutions E/2005/L.5, as orally amended, and E/2005/L.6 without a vote, the Council decided to consider the reports of the Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Burundi and Guinea-Bissau during its 2005 substantive session.  By the draft on the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau, the Council also decided to extend that Group’s mandate until the substantive session.

After adoption of the resolutions, the representative of the United States stressed, that, while ECOSOC could play an important role in countries emerging from conflict, it should not extend its mandate into the area of maintaining peace and security, which was the domain of the Security Council.  She also underlined that the Ad Hoc Working Groups were temporary bodies, and not a permanent arrangement.

Thanking Council members for adopting the resolutions, the representative of Guinea-Bissau assured the Council that the Ad Hoc Working Groups would be of a temporary nature, as the current situation in his country was also of a temporary nature.

The representative of Luxembourg, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the encouraging developments in that country had experienced a severe setback after the military mutiny in October 2004. The country clearly faced serious security, economic and social problems. Those were potential structural causes of conflict.  Improving the socio-economic conditions and the security situation was, therefore, critical. The Ad Hoc Group continued to have an important role to play in assisting Guinea-Bissau and in encouraging the international community to remain engaged.

The representatives of Jamaica (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China) and the United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the African Group) also made remarks on the subject.

Adopting draft decision VIII, contained in document E/2005/L.1, as amended, by a vote by show of hands of 36 in favour to none against, with 11 abstentions, ECOSOC decided to hold its special high-level meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions, the WTO and UNCTAD on 18 April at Headquarters.

In explanation of the vote, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had abstained on the vote because such issues should be decided by consensus.

The vote followed a lengthy discussion on the title of the dialogue, in which an amendment of the United Kingdom to include participation of funds, programmes and agencies in the title was defeated by a vote of 12 in favour, 31 against and 6 abstentions.  The title proposed by the Group of 77 and China was then adopted in a vote of 38 in favour, none against and 10 abstentions.

By its decision IV in the same document, the Council decided that the high-level segment of its substantive session of 2005 will be held from 29 June to 1 July. Its dialogue with the executive secretaries of the regional commission will take place on 5 July, immediately followed by its coordination segment, which will be held from 5 to 7 July. Its operational activities segment will be held from 8 to 12 July; the humanitarian affairs segment from 13 to 18 July; the general segment from 18 to 25 July; and the Council will conclude its work on 26 and 27 July.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, the representative of Jamaica introduced a draft resolution on public administration and development by which the Council would request the Secretary-General to focus the work of the Organization on public administration according to recommendations of ECOSOC and the General Assembly, as well as those of the Committee of Experts of Public Administration contained in document E/2004/44, in particular, those aimed at: strengthening the human capital in the public sector; facilitating access to information and best practices; and strengthening public administration institutions in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries.

By the same text, ECOSOC would encourage the international community to increase financial, material and technical support to developing countries to assist their efforts to strengthen their public administration and managerial capacities. It would call upon the United Nations system to provide further substantive technical and advisory support to developing countries, at their request, aimed at strengthening their public service delivery.

The President of ECOSOC, Munir Akram (Pakistan), announced that the Council would consider holding an event to discuss the issue of transition from relief to development.

The report of the Secretary-General on Regional cooperation in the economic, social and related fields; matters calling for action by ECOSOC or brought to its attention (document E/2004/15/Add.1) contains four draft resolutions, which the Council adopted.

By draft resolution I, entitled “San Juan resolution on productive development in open economies”, ECOSOC requested the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) to undertake a more in-depth analysis of: education, science and technology; social protective and active labour-market policies aimed at achieving complimentarily between public and private mechanisms; counter-cyclical macroeconomic management; production linkages; sustainable development and competitiveness; financing for development; and trade integration and development. It requested the ECLAC secretariat to ensure the wide dissemination of the document “Productive development in open economies”.

By draft resolution II, entitled “Support for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti”, ECOSOC requested the ECLAC secretariat to support the countries of the region in the context of the Mission with a view to optimizing the actions they seek to carry out under the Mission’s terms of reference. The Council also instructed the organization’s Executive Secretary to evaluate the timing and modalities of such collaboration.

Draft resolution III, entitled “Implementation of resolutions concerning the participation of associate member countries of the ECLAC in the follow-up to United Nations world conferences and in the work of the ECOSOC”, the Council decided to establish the necessary mechanisms for the participation of associate members of the regional commissions in the work of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies.

By draft resolution IV, finally, the Council endorsed the ECLAC decision to hold the Commission’s thirty-first session in Uruguay in 2006.

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