13 February 2006

Economic Ad Social Council Approves Agenda for July Substantive Session; Agrees to Examine Working Methods in Response to Summit Call for Reform

NEW YORK, 10 February (UN Headquarters) -- The 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) reached a late-day accord this evening on a package of decisions, including approval of the provisional agenda for its substantive session in July and agreement on a United States-led proposal to discuss the Council's working methods in accordance with the World Summit's call that it develop its ability to respond better and more rapidly to developments in the international economic, environmental and social fields.

Following rounds of informal consultations throughout its organizational session this week, Council members adopted a draft decision by which they agreed to discuss their agenda, organization of work and methods of work "as soon as possible after the adoption by the General Assembly of its draft resolution in pursuance of paragraphs 155 and 156" of the 2005 World Summit's Outcome Document, with a view to beginning those talks in 2007.

Members also approved the provisional agenda for the Council's July substantive session.  By so doing, they endorsed prior decisions, including that their high-level segment would be devoted to consideration of creating an environment at the national and international levels conducive to generating full and productive employment and decent work for all, and its impact on sustainable development.  The coordination segment would be devoted to sustained economic growth for social development, including the eradication of poverty and hunger.

Under another draft decision, ECOSOC decided that the theme for the item on regional cooperation would be "The regional dimension of creating an environment conducive to generating full and productive employment, and its impact on sustainable development", as orally corrected.

The Council also adopted a draft decision on the working arrangements for the substantive session.  Those plans were, as follows:  the high-level segment would be held from 3 to 5 July; dialogue with the Executive Secretaries of the regional commissions would be held on 6 July; the coordination segment would be held from 6 to 10 July; the operational activities segment would be held from 11 to 13 July; the humanitarian affairs segment would be held from 14 to 19 July; the general segment would be held from 19 to 27 July; and the conclusion of the Council's work would be held on 27 and 28 July.

In still another draft text, the Council took note of the list of questions for inclusion in the Council's work programme for 2007.  Concerning a request to reactivate the consideration of the inclusion of an item entitled "Observance by the Government of Myanmar of the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29)" in the agenda of the forthcoming substantive session, members agreed, ad referendum, to place the letter of the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) under item 14 (b) of the provisional agenda, entitled "Social development", for appropriate consideration by the Council.

In an oral text read out by the Council President, Ali Hachani (Tunisia), the Council decided to consider in February 2007 at its regular organizational session a discussion on promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development.

A number of items were deferred this evening.  Among them were texts of decision on the Peacebuilding Commission, the theme for the humanitarian affairs segment, a decision on the operational activities segment, and the Council's consideration of the report on tax matters.

The ECOSOC will convene a further organizational meeting at a date and time to be announced.

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