9 May 2006

Economic and Social Council Decides on Distribution of Seats for Peacebuilding Commission's Organizational Committee

NEW YORK, 8 May (UN Headquarters) -- In a short meeting this afternoon, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) made a decision on the distribution of the seven seats allocated to it on the Organizational Committee of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission.

The new peacebuilding body that will prevent post-conflict countries from falling back into violence and help them manage the difficult transition from war to peace was set in motion by the General Assembly and the Security Council, which, acting concurrently, adopted their respective resolutions 60/180 and 1645(2005) on 20 December 2005. Those identical texts underlined, among other things, that the advice of the Commission as countries move from transitional recovery towards development will be of particular relevance to ECOSOC, bearing in mind its role as a principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on issues of economic and social development.

The texts prescribed that the Commission's Organizational Committee -- a standing body responsible for developing its own rules of procedure and working methods -- would consist of seven Security Council members, including permanent members, selected by the Council; seven members of ECOSOC elected from regional groups, five top contributors to United Nations budgets, funds, programmes and agencies; and five top providers of military personnel and civilian police to United Nations missions.  Seven additional members would be elected by the General Assembly, with special consideration for States that have experienced post-conflict recovery.

By the terms of a draft resolution adopted without a vote this afternoon (document E/2006/L.2/Rev.2), the Economic and Social Council decided that the five of its seven seats on the Organizational Committee would be given to each of the five regional groups:  African States, Asian States, Eastern European States, Latin American and Caribbean States, and Western European and Other States.  For the purpose of the first election, the two remaining seats shall be allocated to the regional groups of African States and Asian States.

Members of ECOSOC shall be elected to the Organizational Committee for a two-year term, with the possibility, as applicable, of sharing the term within the concerned regional group for the seats allocated to it, subject to the concurrence of the Council.  It was also decided that elections from among the Council's members to the Organizational Committee would be held every other year and that the rules of procedure and established practice for the election of members of its subsidiary bodies would apply to those elections.

Prior to action on the draft, the representative of Colombia, on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, referring to operative  paragraph 1B of the draft, said the Group understood that the two additional seats for the purpose of the first election, allocated to the regional groups of African and Asian States, would rotate so that underrepresented regions could participate and contribute to the Commission's work.

The Council will now meet on Friday, 12 May, to elect the seven members to the Organizational Committee.

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