1 April 2005

Economic and Social Council Holds Organizational Meeting in Preparation for June/July Substantive Session

NEW YORK, 31 March (UN Headquarters) -- Continuing to make arrangements for its substantive session, which is scheduled to take place from 29 June to 27 July this year, the Economic and Social Council this afternoon decided on the theme for its humanitarian affairs segment -- “Strengthening of the coordination of the United Nations humanitarian assistance, including capacity, as well as organizational aspects”.

Adopting, without a vote, draft decision VI contained in document E/2005/L.1, the Council also decided to convene a panel on the theme “Lessons learned from the recent earthquake/tsunami Indian Ocean disaster”.

By the terms of draft resolution E/2005/L.8/Rev.1 on public administration and development, also adopted without a vote(as orally amended), the Council requested the Secretary-General to focus the work of the Organization on public administration according to the recommendations of ECOSOC and the General Assembly, as well as those of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration contained in its report on its third session (document E/2004/44), in particular, those aimed at:  strengthening the human capital in the public sector; facilitating access to information and best practices; promoting good governance and accountability in public administration; and strengthening relevant institutions in developing countries, in particular in the least developed countries.

By the same text, ECOSOC also encouraged 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 called on the United Nations system to provide further substantive technical and advisory support to developing countries, at their request, to strengthen their public service delivery and ensure national ownership in the development of those programmes.

Seeking to improve the work of the Commission on Population and Development, the Council, by another text (document E/2005/L.7/Rev.1) also decided that the terms of office of the members of that body would be for four regular sessions of the Commission, beginning immediately after the conclusion of its session held after 1 January.  The Council also decided to extend the terms of office of members of the Commission that were to expire on 31 December 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, to the conclusion of the thirty-ninth, fortieth, forty-first, and forty-second sessions, respectively.

Also by the text, as of its thirty-eighth session, which is to be held next week, immediately after closing each regular session, the Commission on Population and Development will hold the first meeting of a subsequent session to elect its new Bureau.

In other action, the Council elected, by acclamation, Jaime Moncayo of Ecuador as its Vice-President to replace Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, also of Ecuador, for the remainder of 2005.

The Council elected, by acclamation, Lebanon to fill a vacancy on the Commission on Population and Development.  Sweden was elected to the same body to replace Norway for a term beginning at the first meeting of its thirty-ninth session and expiring at the close of that session in 2006.

Also elected today were Antigua and Barbuda and Haiti to fill two of the three outstanding vacancies on the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), for a term of office beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2008.

Elections to fill remaining vacancies on the Commission on Population and Development and UN-HABITAT were postponed to a later date.

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