ECOSOC’s head calls for joining forces to meet ‘most serious’ global health, economic crises


UNITED NATIONS: Marking the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), its President, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, has called for working together to fulfill the mandate of this principal organ of the UN to promote international economic cooperation.

The Council, which now has 54 members, held its first meeting at Church House in London, England, on 23 January 1946.

“The ECOSOC’s central mandate in the UN Charter is to promote better living standards in larger freedoms through international economic cooperation,” Ambassador Akram said in a message released on Saturday.

The entire system of international cooperation on economic, social, health, humanitarian and development issues has been created under ECOSOC’s umbrella, and now twenty international organizations, regional commissions, and autonomous entities report annually to it.

“Over the years, ECOSOC has been the central body for the discussion of international economic, social and development policies,” Ambassador Akram pointed out.

Some of the major development concepts – the 0.7% ODA target; the Special Drawing Rights linked to development, the preferential treatment of developing countries in international trade – were all evolved in ECOSOC’s policy discussions, as also the adoption of the International Development Strategies, the Millennium Development Goals and the crucial for the evolution of the 2030 Agenda for Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

He said the world was facing the most serious global health and economic crisis since the establishment of the UN and the creation of ECOSOC, resulting in increased poverty and hunger.

“The financial resources required for recovery by the developing countries remain to be mobilized,” he said, adding that achievement of the SDGs is in question, the threat of climate change appears imminent, with no assurance that the vaccine to halt the Coronavirus pandemic will be equitably available to the poorer countries.

“The ECOSOC has the mandate and the responsibility to respond to these challenges,” Ambassador Akram said, while emphasizing that the Council must act through its Financing for Development Forum in April, at the Development Cooperation Forum and the High Level Development Cooperation Forum in July.

“On the 75th Anniversary of its creation, let us work together to fulfill the mandate and potential of the Economic and Social Council’, Ambassador Akram said in Conclusion.

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