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Economic and Social Council Decides Theme for 2007 Session, Adpots Provisional Agenda, Elects new Vice-President


The Economic and Social Council, in an organizational meeting this morning, decided the theme for the humanitarian segment of its upcoming 2007 substantive session, to be held at the United Nations Office in Geneva from 2 to 27 July. It also approved, as orally corrected, the provisional agenda for the three-week session and elected a new Vice-President.

Adopting an oral decision on the theme for the 2007 session’s humanitarian segment, the Council decided that it would be devoted to “Strengthening of the coordination of United Nations humanitarian assistance through enhancing the effectiveness of needs-based humanitarian assistance”. It also decided the topics of two panel discussions: “The use of military assets in natural disaster relief;” and “Needs-based humanitarian financing, including the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)”.

However, the Council deferred its consideration of the theme for the 2007 session’s item on regional cooperation as requested by the representative of Pakistan on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, who was supported by the United States delegate.

In another decision, the Economic and Social Council requested the Committee for Development Policy to invite Samoa to present its case regarding its graduation from the list of least developed countries at the Committee’s ninth session in 2007, to examine the issues raised and to submit its recommendations to the Council.

Following that action, Council President, Dalius Čekuolis ( Lithuania) informed members that the ninth session of the Committee for Development Policy would be held from 19 to 23 March.

The representative of the United States said the decision just adopted would strengthen the lines of communication between the Committee and Samoa as well as increase Member State participation in the Committee’s process. It was to be hoped that the Committee would start work on the report as soon as possible. The decision was focused solely on issues relating to Samoa’s graduation and a special meeting should be held to resolve that issue before the session.

Germany’s representative, on behalf of the European Union, thanked colleagues for their cooperation and flexibility, noting that the decision would enable the Council to consider the issue of Samoa before the July 2007 session.

Pakistan’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, said the organizational session was not meant to take up substantive issues and presumably no substantive deliberations would be undertaken.

The Council deferred to another meeting its consideration of the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its ninth session, and the question of participation by non-governmental organizations and business sector entities in the Commission’s work in the follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society.

Briefing on informal consultations on the latter question, Haiti’s representative said agreement had been reached on the participation of non-governmental organizations, but not yet on participation by business sector entities. Hopefully, consensus could be reached soon.

In other business, the Council decided to include in its 2008 substantive session a discussion on promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development. A decision on allocating the discussion to a specific segment of the 2008 session would be taken at the organizational session.

At the outset of the meeting, the Council elected Hilario G. Davide ( Philippines) as Vice-President for 2007 on behalf of the Asian States Group, to continue the unexpired term of Lauro L. Baja, who has returned home.

In a brief statement, Mr. Davide thanked Council members for his election, calling it a clear demonstration of faith in his country, the Philippines, and in himself, “the most junior colleague”, and pledging to perform his duties to his best ability.

The Economic and Social Council then adopted its provisional agenda for the 2007 substantive session, as orally corrected.

Turning to its basic programme of work for 2008, the Council took note of the list of questions for inclusion in the 2008 work programme.

The Economic and Social Council will meet again at a time and date to be announced.


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